Despite rescue efforts, boater drowns in cold Barnegat Bay
SEASIDE HEIGHTS — A man whose boat motor gave out drowned when he tried to make a swim for shore on Friday evening, according to police.
The 57-year-old man was in his boat in Barnegat Bay near the Dock Outfitters along Route 35, which was closed, according to Seaside Heights police Chief Tommy Boyd.
Boyd said people standing on the dock tried to help the man by throwing a life preserver to him. First responders could not revive the man.
Boyd could not disclose the man's name as his family had not been notified Saturday morning.
The water temperature in Barnegat Bay at the nearest monitoring station near Barnegat Light was around 50 degrees on Friday.
The National Weather Service says swimming in water at that temperature causes cold shock and an immediate loss of breathing control.
"This dramatically increases the risk of sudden drowning even if the water is calm and you know how to swim. The danger is even greater if the water is rough. Immersion in cold water is immediately life-threatening for anyone not wearing thermal protection, like a wetsuit or drysuit, and not wearing a life jacket," according to the NWS.
State Police are leading the investigation into the drowning.
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