Pa. man dies after bodysurfing accident at N.J. beach

Avalon beach

A beach in Avalon. (Public Domain)

A Pennsylvania man has died after a bodysurfing accident at a New Jersey beach.

The accident happened around 6:20 p.m. last Thursday at the 21st Street beach in Avalon.

Witnesses told authorities that a 73-year-old York, Pennsylvania man, identified by the York Daily Record as Ken Matthews, was bodysurfing when a large wave caused him to strike his head on the ground beneath the surface.

Matthews was unresponsive when bystanders and emergency personnel pulled him out of the water and began performing CPR, authorities said.

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He was transported to Cape Regional Medical Center in Cape May Courthouse, where authorities said he was pronounced dead.

Lifeguards were off-duty at the time. An investigation into the incident is ongoing.

Matthews was retired after a long career as a music teacher and band director at Central York Middle School. A Facebook post by the school’s fifes and drums band remembers him as “a visionary starting a fife and drum corps in a public school in 1971.”

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