Pennsylvania man drowns in waters off N.J.

Ocean Grove beach. (By Jackie from Monmouth County, NJ, USA (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0  (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)

Ocean Grove beach. (By Jackie from Monmouth County, NJ, USA (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)

A Pennsylvania man has drowned while swimming at the Jersey Shore.

Authorities say 42-year-old Gabriel D’Abruzzo, of Pittsburgh, began struggling shortly after he entered the ocean waters off McClintock Street in Ocean Grove around 9:40 p.m. Monday.

He was soon pulled from the waters by bystanders who performed CPR, but he was pronounced dead at Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune a short time later.

Emergency responders initially were told a second struggling swimmer was still in the water.

Local, state, and Coast Guard responders searched for about 45 minutes before determining D’Abruzzo was the lone victim.

The Area Network of Shore Water Emergency Responders (ANSWER) Team, one of the responding units, released a statement about the incident.

“Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the victim of this tragic incident. We would like to take this time to remind you just how dangerous the ocean can be, especially swimming after dark on unguarded beaches,” the statement said. “Please remind your family and friends to never swim when lifeguards are not present, especially at night.”

It’s the fourth ocean related death this summer at the Jersey Shore. In the last week, people have died after being pulled from the ocean off Island Beach State Park, Normandy Beach, and Surf City.

Between June 29 and July 1, Jersey Shore lifeguards performed more than 100 water rescues.

Forecasters are concerned about another bout of rough seas and rip currents with the arrival of swells from Tropical Storm Chris between Wednesday and at least Thursday.

The National Hurricane Center expects Chris to reach hurricane strength late Tuesday. The system will remain over the Atlantic Ocean and head toward the northeast. There is no direct threat to land.

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.

Rip current speeds vary, with an average pull of 1-2 feet per second, but some can move as fast as 8 feet per second, which is faster than an Olympic swimmer.

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.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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