Cops identify 4th swimmer to drown off Jersey Shore this week
ATLANTIC CITY — An Illinois man has been identified as the man who went missing off the Steel Pier on Tuesday night.
Atlantic City Police said people on the beach noticed the body of Jeffrey Wilkens, 31, floating in the ocean near the former Revel casino.
He is at least the 4th person to drown in the ocean this week.
The most recent ocean drownings incidents include:
- Wednesday: A 74-year-old man, whose identity has not yet been disclosed, was knocked over by a wave near the 59th Street beach in Sea Isle City.
- Monday: Brian Zwaan, 58, of Berwyn, Pennsylvania, had a medical emergency in the ocean off the 86th Street beach in Sea Isle City.
- Sunday: Zuzana Oravcová,24-year-old Slovakian woman, drowned after taking a late night swim Sunday in the Atlantic Ocean off Point Pleasant Beach.
- June: Emily Gonzalez-Perez and her cousin Mitzi Hernandez died within days of each other after swimming on an unguarded beach in Belmar.
- June: Kaliyah Hand, 16. of Atlantic City, and Ramon Quinn, 15, of Pleasantville, drowned off Atlantic City after swimming when lifeguards were off duty.
Off-duty lifeguards saved a 10-year-old from a rip current in the Brick area last week.
The American Red Cross has several suggestions for swimming
- Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
- Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone. Even at a public pool or a lifeguarded beach, use the buddy system!
- Ensure that everyone in the family learns to swim well.
- Never leave a young child unattended near water and do not trust a child’s life to another child; teach children to always ask permission to go near water.
- Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone.
- Establish rules for your family and enforce them without fail. For example, set limits based on each person’s ability, do not let anyone play around drains and suction fittings, and do not allow swimmers to hyperventilate before swimming under water or have breath-holding contests.
- Even if you do not plan on swimming, be cautious around natural bodies of water including ocean shoreline, rivers and lakes. Cold temperatures, currents and underwater hazards can make a fall into these bodies of water dangerous.
- If you go boating, wear a life jacket. Most boating fatalities occur from drowning.
Avoid alcohol use. Alcohol impairs judgment, balance and coordination; affects swimming and diving skills; and reduces the body’s ability to stay warm.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.
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