Man dies after pulled from water at Cape May beach

Rough surf in New Jersey in September 2019. (Justin Auciello/WHYY)

Rough surf in New Jersey in September 2019. (Justin Auciello/WHYY)

A man pulled from the ocean off Cape May Thursday afternoon has died, authorities say.

Cape May police say James P. Lane, 67, of Binghamton, New York was swimming at the Grant Street beach when he became distressed, prompting an emergency call at 3:34 p.m.

First responders found the man “face down in the surf” about 50 yards from the shore and brought him ashore to begin CPR, according to Cape May police.

He was transported to Cape Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced deceased, officials said.

The National Weather Service advised of a moderate risk of rip currents on Thursday due to a lingering southeast swell.

With warm temperatures and dangerous ocean conditions for most of the September, first responders have been busy. In Long Beach Island, first responders conducted numerous ocean rescues last week. One person drowned and five were hospitalized.

How to identify a rip current:

  • A channel of churning, choppy water.
  • An area having a notable difference in water color
  • A line of foam, seaweed, or debris moving steadily seaward
  • A break in the incoming wave pattern.

If caught in a rip current, NOAA advises:

  • Stay calm.
  • Don’t fight the current.
  • Escape the current by swimming in a direction following the shoreline. When free of the current, swim at an angle—away from the current—toward shore.
  • If you are unable to escape by swimming, float or tread water. When the current weakens, swim at an angle away from the current toward shore.
  • If at any time you feel you will be unable to reach shore, draw attention to yourself: face the shore, call or wave for help.

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