A mother's selfless actions saved the lives of her two young children, but nearly lost her own life.

The 28-year-old woman's children were in the ocean off Brigantine about 9:30 Wednesday morning. Lifeguards do not come on duty until 10:00 a.m.

A witness who was on the beach says when the children began struggling, the mother ran into the water to save them. The witness immediately called 911.

She was overpowered by the waves and strong current, and slipped beneath the water.

Brigantine police say it was fortunate that lifeguards were training not far from where the incident was taking place, and were able to rush to the scene.

Police posted on Facebook that the Brigantine Beach Patrol was able to rescue all three from the water.

The children were checked out by emergency personnel and reunited with family. The mom was rushed to the hospital, where police say she remains in critical condition.

Investigators are refusing to identify the woman or release any additional details.

Brigantine beachgoers are being reminded by police that lifeguards from are only on duty from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. They strongly urge people to only enter the water at a guarded beach and only between the flags designating swimming areas.

Eric Scott is the senior political director and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at eric.scott@townsquaremedia.com

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