NORTH WILDWOOD - At approximately 2:56 p.m. Sept. 29, a North Wildwood police dispatcher received a 911 call reporting four swimmers in distress in the vicinity of 18th Street and the beach.
According to a release, the North Wildwood and Wildwood fire departments were immediately dispatched for a water rescue. While en route, police dispatch updated incoming units that two of the four victims were coming out of the water, as per the first arriving police sergeant.
Upon the arrival of first arriving fire and police department units, reports were confirmed that two victims were still in the water. One of the victims was seen about 50 yards from shore and was assisted out of the water by police and fire personnel.
Rescue swimmers from the North Wildwood and Wildwood fire departments, along with off-duty North Wildwood Beach Patrol lifeguards, entered the water to attempt to locate the fourth victim. They located the victim face down approximately 150 yards north of the initial location.
Crews quickly removed the victim from the water via a rescue board. Upon exiting the water, North Wildwood Fire Department and North Wildwood Beach Patrol personnel immediately initiated life-saving measures on the unconscious victim.
The patient was then transferred to an awaiting Wildwood Crest ambulance and transported to Cape Regional Medical Center, with AtlantiCare paramedics on board.
The other remaining three victims were transported to Cape Regional Medical Center by North Wildwood fire ambulance for evaluation.
The four victims were identified as a family from Wernersville, Pennsylvania, on vacation, in North Wildwood. The surviving victims are 8 and 10-year-old boys, and a 19-year-old woman.
The fourth victim was a 49-year-old woman and mother of the others. She was attempting to rescue her children and was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
As of Sept. 30, the incident remains under investigation, and the victims' names are being withheld.