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A young man drowns and five others are rescued on a beach in New Jersey. How can you avoid tragedies like this?

2023-05-29T15:21:22.631Z

Highlights: A 15-year-old boy drowned Sunday afternoon on a beach in Sandy Hook Nature Park in New Jersey. Five other young men were taken to hospitals after being rescued in a coastal area that was not guarded by lifeguards. The United States records 4,000 drowning deaths each year (an average of 11 per day) Experts say most deaths caused by the current in the sea are preventable; here are some tips CDC gives to prevent them. The number of annual deaths has continued to increase since the National Weather Service began counting them in 2010.


The area of Sandy Hook Nature Park where the incident occurred had no rescuers. Every year dozens of people die in the currents: so you can protect yourself.


A 15-year-old boy drowned Sunday afternoon on a beach in Sandy Hook Nature Park in New Jersey, and five other young men were taken to hospitals after being rescued in a coastal area that was not guarded by lifeguards and where bathing was not allowed, according to Daphne Yun, spokeswoman for Gateway National Recreation Area. to which that area belongs.

The incident occurred around 4:30 p.m. (local time on the East Coast) on Beach B, the first that visitors meet in the federal park and in which there are warnings about the lack of lifeguards; this Memorial Day holiday weekend there were in squares C, D and G, the spokeswoman told NJ.com.

"I saw them floating down. They were drifting. I didn't know there were problems until they got here," a witness, Marie Macera, told local news station ABC 7.

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As rescuers pulled some young men out of the sea, witnesses said they heard a mother screaming that she could not see her 15-year-old son in the waves. The teenager, whose identity has not been revealed, was rescued and tried to revive him: "They couldn't get him back," said Luis Sanchez, another witness.

"When it's windy there's a hangover and it's easy to drown," he said.

One of the rescued youths refused medical assistance, and the others were taken to Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch and Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune.

Sanchez and her family said they didn't go to the beach to swim, nor did Macera, who only got into the water on the shore and explained, "Even so, I felt swept away."

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May 26, 202301:42

The United States records 4,000 drowning deaths each year (an average of 11 per day), according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The annual rate of drowning deaths between 2016 and 2020 was 1.28 deaths per 100,000 people.

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Nearly 80% of people who drown are men, which the CDC explains by increased exposure to water, risky behaviors and alcohol consumption.

How to prevent drowning at sea

Experts say most deaths caused by the current in the sea are preventable. However, the number of annual deaths from this cause has continued to increase since the National Weather Service began counting them in 2010: in 2021 they reached a record 130; in 2022 there were 85.

These tragedies were the third leading cause of climate-related deaths between 2012 and 2021, behind only heat and flooding. In a normal year they kill more people than lightning, hurricanes or tornadoes.

The Weather Service recorded this year, as of April 27, 26 deaths of people who drowned by the current. Last year, at this point, there had been 19 such deaths.

Here are some tips CDC gives to prevent:

  • Learn to swim. Classes reduce the risk of drowning. Still, children still need close and constant supervision when they are in the water or on the shore.
  • Wear a life jacket. They reduce the risk of drowning in boating for people of all ages and swimming abilities. Children should wear life jackets in all activities in and around natural waters. Remember to wear vests approved by the authorities.

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  • Avoid alcohol. Avoid drinking alcohol before or during swimming, boating, or other water activities, as it impairs judgment, balance, and coordination.
  • Learn first aid techniques. Having knowledge of CPR can save someone's life while paramedics arrive. Organizations such as the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association offer training courses, both online and in person.
  • Find out about the risks in the area. Lakes, rivers and oceans present hidden hazards, such as dangerous currents or waves, rocks or vegetation, and limited visibility. Check the weather forecast before doing activities on the water.

How to act if the sea current drags you:

  • Don't fight against the current. The maritime authorities remember that in this situation the sea will take you away from the coast, but it will not submerge you. First try to swim parallel to the shore. When you stop feeling the force of the current it is time to try to return to the beach taking advantage of the waves.
  • Stay calm. The undertow of the sea will not sink you, and panicking can cause you to lose control of the situation.
  • Ask for help. If you can't get back to shore on your own, stay afloat until a lifeguard or someone comes to your aid. In case no one notices your situation, vigorously move your arms and shout for help to get the attention of other bathers or the maritime authorities.

Source: telemundo

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