A New York firefighter drowned Friday while trying to save his daughter who was caught up in fast-moving currents.
Mark Batista, a 39-year-old firefighter with the Fire Department of New York (FDNY), was with his family on Sylvania Beach near Avon-by-the-Sea when his teenage daughter was caught in a rip current, according to the New York Post. Batista reportedly jumped into the water to save his daughter, but they both became in distress.
Rescue swimmers saved the girl, however Batista was found in the water about an hour and a half later and pronounced dead at the Jersey Shore University Medical Center, the New York Post reported.
We are heartbroken to learn about the death of Firefighter Mark Batista, who died Friday while swimming at the Jersey Shore. FF Batista was a dedicated public servant who spent 15 years serving in the FDNY, as both an EMT and firefighter. We join his family in mourning. pic.twitter.com/hGQhYSjgYi
— FDNY (@FDNY) June 11, 2023
Lifeguards were not on duty at the beach at the time of the accident, NBC New York reported. A Jersey Shore resident said that such accidents typically happened when people went into the water without lifeguards around, according to NBC New York. (RELATED: 15-Year-Old Student Reportedly Drowns In High School Swimming Pool)
Rip currents are “powerful, narrow channels of fast-moving water that are prevalent along the East, Gulf, and West coasts of the US, as well as along the shores of the Great Lakes” and “can be faster than an Olympic swimmer,” according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Swimmers are to float, not fight, when caught in rip currents, and not attempt to rescue anyone caught up in the currents but rather to call for help, according to the NOAA.