VERNON — A Florida family is trying to raise funds to get the body of Rashad Milfort home after he drowned in front of his family at a North Jersey lake.

Rashad Milfort of Lauderhill, Florida was identified on a GoFundMe page as the 23-year-old man who drowned in Lake Conway on Friday while on vacation.

"He unfortunately drowned to his death in front of his wife, father-in-law and 2 children that were trying to save him," his sister, Anna Turetskaya wrote.

Turetskaya told the New Jersey Herald there was no lifeguard on duty, and a box with life jackets and other supplies was locked. She said Milfort's wife tried to pull him out, but she was nearly pulled under as he struggled.

Police said Milfort was found at the bottom of the private lake. First-responders performed CPR before he was taken to St. Anthony’s Hospital in Warwick, NY, where he was pronounced dead.

Turetskaya, on the GoFundMe page, cited an report saying four people, including her brother, died recently while swimming in unguarded lakes.

"There needs to be change made because this is getting too common and the state of New Jersey needs to do something about it," Turetskaya wrote.

The death is at least the 11th drowning has reported on since mid-June.

The United State Lifeguard Association said their statistics show over a ten year period show that the chance of drowning at a beach without lifeguard protection is almost five times as great as drowning at a beach with lifeguards.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at

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