A New York City firefighter drowned in Jersey Shore Friday while trying to rescue his teen daughter from a rip current.
FDNY identified the firefighter as 39-year-old Mark Batista, a fifteen-year veteran who worked for a firehouse in Brooklyn. He previously served as an EMT.
Multiple units responded to Sylvania Ave Beach around 8:38 a.m. Friday in Avon-by-the-Sea for reports of two swimmers in distress, according to the Area Network of Shore Water Emergency Responders (ANSWER).
A female juvenile was rescued and transported to Jersey Shore University Medical Center for evaluation. Rescuers searched for the other missing swimmer utilizing divers, jet skis, boats, and a drone.
A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter located the missing swimmer just before 10 a.m. and removed him from the water. EMS treated the swimmer and transported him to JSUMC, but he did not survive.
“We are heartbroken to learn about the death of Firefighter Mark Batista, who died Friday while swimming at the Jersey Shore,” FDNY spokesperson Amanda Farinacci Gonzalez said in a statement to outlets.
“Firefighter Batista was a dedicated public servant who spent 15 years serving in the FDNY, as both an EMT and a firefighter. We join his family in mourning his tragic passing.”
The Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office took to Facebook later Friday warning beach attendees not to go in the water when there are no lifeguards on duty.