19-Year-Old Lifeguard Has Died After Being Struck by Lightning at Jersey Shore
An investigation is underway at one Jersey shore beach after multiple people, including one lifeguard, were reportedly struck by lightning during Monday afternoon's storms.
We can now confirm the lifeguard who was struck by lightning died. He has been identified as 19-year-old Keith Pinto of Toms River, 6abc.com reports.
Berkeley Township Mayor Carmen Amato praised the young lifeguard, saying, "This young person was out there every day protecting the lives of others. Our lifeguard teams, like so many along the shore, develop special connections with our community throughout the summer, which makes this loss even greater."
Pinto becomes the second teenage lifeguard to die recently. 16-year-old Norman V. Inferrera III, a lifeguard in Cape May, lost his life in a row boat accident on August 19th.
The beach where Pinto and six others were hit will remain closed Tuesday through Thursday this week.
The storms arrived quickly Monday, the sky turning angry, thunder rolling, rain pouring, and strong winds blowing, leaving beachgoers in Ocean County running for cover.
According to 6abc.com and Berkeley Twp. Police, seven people were hit by lightning near the beach at 21st Ave. in Seaside Park.
A beach lifeguard was among the victims, all of which were transported to nearby hospitals for treatment. There is no word on the condition of any of the victims or how badly they were injured.
We'll provide more details as soon as they become available.
Our thoughts are with all those hurt this afternoon. It's terrifying when trying to get to safety when the sky opens up like that, and lightning can appear in an instant.
More storms are expected this week with Tropical Storm Ida, recently downgraded from hurricane status after pounding Louisiana, moving further north.