Police: Wave may have broken neck of man that died in rough surf

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Authorities say a man died in an apparent drowning while swimming in rough water off a beach at the New Jersey shore.

Officers in Seaside Heights responded shortly after 7 p.m. Saturday to a report of a man struck by a wave and floating in the ocean off the Fremont Avenue beach.

NJ.com reports that three officers entered the water and reported strong rip currents. They were joined by water rescue units and the man was brought to shore.

His wife and five-year-old son were on the beach when the incident occurred, according to the Asbury Park Press.

Emergency responders began CPR efforts but the 44-year-old New Brunswick resident was pronounced dead at the scene. His name wasn’t immediately released.

Police Chief Tommy Boyd told the Asbury Park Press that the wave may have broken the man’s neck and left him incapacitated. No official cause of death has been released.

Officials said lifeguards, who work during September weekends from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., weren’t on duty at the time.

The National Weather Service advised of a high risk of rip current development on Saturday. Waves were mostly in the four to six foot range, according to the forecasters.

A University of Delaware study has found that during the summer of 2014, there were 280 injuries from waves over 116 sample days along the Delaware coast.

Of the 280, 32 were serious, including cervical fractures and spinal cord injuries, and one was a fatality. Wading was the dominate injury activity.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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