BERKELEY TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP/WCBS Newspath) – New Jersey authorities say a young lifeguard was killed and seven other people injured when lightning struck a Jersey Shore beach Monday afternoon.
Gov. Phil Murphy confirmed that a lifeguard in Berkeley Township was killed in the afternoon.
Police responded to the scene around 4:35 p.m. to find eight total victims, including four lifeguards — one of which died.
It marked the second death of a young lifeguard at the Jersey Shore in a little over a week. Ocean County Sheriff Michael Mastronardy says seven people were taken to hospitals with injuries that were not considered life-threatening.
Earlier this month a 16-year-old lifeguard in Cape May was killed when the boat he was rowing was hit by a wave and flipped over.
Murphy released a statement Monday, confirming the death of a young lifeguard.
“Our hearts are with the family and friends of the young lifeguard killed by today’s horrific lightning strike on the beach in Berkeley Township, and we pray for a full recovery for those injured. I’ve spoken to Mayor Carmen Amato and offered the full support and assistance of our administration during this difficult time,” Murphy said.
Officials say Berkeley Township’s oceans will be closed for swimming Tuesday through Thursday as staff and lifeguards will be off. Grief counselors will be available.
The identity of the lifeguard killed has not been released at this time.