Young woman a ‘missing person’ after vanishing into ocean at Point Pleasant Beach
POINT PLEASANT BEACH — Rescuers continued searching late Sunday for a missing Slovakian woman who disappeared into the Ocean during a late-night swim.
Zuzana Oravcova, 24, was officially classified as a missing person and entered into the National Crime Information Center database as such Sunday, police said.
They said at about 2:10 a.m., Thomas Kadlec, also from Slovakia, reported he had Oravcova had gone into the ocean together. Both found themselves in distress because of the rough surf conditions, police said.
"Kadlec was able to swim ashore, Oravcova did not. He immediately notified an employee of the boardwalk who in turn reported the incident to the police department," police wrote in an announcement Sunday.
Rescuers were continuing to search more than half a day later. Taking part were the US Coast Guard, a state police marine unit, the borough's fire company and first aid squad, as well as companies and police from several nearby communities. Searchers used boats, a helicopter and ground crew throughout.
The National Weather Service issued a warning about rip currents along the Jersey Shore Sunday morning, with the warning remaining in effect throughout the day.
Forecasters say the currents could potentially be life-threatening. So they're urging beachgoers to talk with lifeguards about any concerns they have and to follow all swimming flags and signs. They also warn that a moderate risk for dangerous rip currents may also exist on Monday.
New Jersey 101.5 has reported on several drownings this season, including multiple that took place when swimmers were caught up in rip currents and could not escape.
Off-duty lifeguards saved a 10-year-old from a rip current in the Brick area last week.
The National Weather Service says you can spot a potential rip current by watching for these factors:
- Channel of churning, choppy water
- Area having a notable difference in water color
- Line of foam, seaweed, or debris moving steadily seaward
- Break in the incoming wave pattern
- One, all or none the clues may be visible.
If you find yourself caught in a rip current, the NWS has some advice to follow:
- Don’t fight the current. It’s a natural treadmill that travels an average speed of 1-2 feet per second, but has been measured as fast as 8 feet per second—faster than an Olympic swimmer.
- Relax and float to conserve energy. Staying calm may save your life.
- Do NOT try to swim directly into to shore. Swim parallel to the shoreline until you escape the current’s pull. When free from the pull of the current, swim at an angle away from the current toward shore.
- If you feel you can’t reach shore, relax, face the shore, and call or wave for help. Remember: Wave and yell; swim parallel to the beach.
— Reporting by Dan Alexander, Louis C. Hochman and the Associated Press
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