SURF CITY — A 55-year-old man who was unconscious when he was pulled from ocean waters off Surf City around 2:45 p.m. died after he was taken to Southern Ocean Medical Center in Strafford, according to Surf City Police.

It was one of two water rescues during the Fourth of July holiday.

Also on Wednesday, 13 people, including several children, were rescued after a boat capsized in waters off Burlington Island near Burlington City, about 11 p.m., according to 6ABC Action News.

In Surf City, lifeguards were able to get the man out of the water and performed CPR on him, according to police, who did not disclose the man's name. Rip currents were reported in the area when the drowning occurred although no elevated warning was in effect.

"A big problem for us is gullies/troughs that form between sandbars," Brian Devlin, of the Harvey Cedars Beach Patrol, told New Jersey 101.5. "While the tide is going out, water is quickly draining out through those gullies turning them into large rip currents that can go very far out. Swimmers can quickly be pulled along and way out through these gullies."

"Surf City, like Harvey Cedars, has similar sandbars and both patrols made quite a few rescues yesterday. So while the rip current risk may say low, beach goers should always be alert for rip currents, know how to get out of them and swim near lifeguards."

In the Delaware River incident, several people were stranded north of the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge but no injuries were reported.

The boaters were transported to the Bucks County boat dock in Croydon, Pennsylvania.

Bridgewater Police said Vermin Franco, 52, of Valley Stream NY died after nearly drowning in the Raritan River near Duke Island Park late Wednesday afternoon. Franco was taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in Somerset and passed away just after midnight on Wednesday, according to police.


Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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