According to preliminary information, a lifeguard shack was struck by the lightning, hitting a lifeguard and as many as seven others.
The fatality is said to be a 19-year-old lifeguard.
A medevac was requested to the scene, along with multiple ambulances.
UPDATE: Police a short time ago released more information surrounding the incident.
At approximately 4:35 pm, the Berkeley Township Police Department responded to the 21* Ave Beach in South Seaside Park for a report of a lighting strike involving multiple people on the
beach. Upon arrival, first aid and advanced life support was immediately rendered to the victims.
It was determined that a total of 8 victims, four of which were lifeguards, were reported to have been either struck or were injured from the residual lightning strike. One of the victims, a Berkeley Township
lifeguard, succumbed to their injuries. The remaining victims were triaged and treated for their injuries at surrounding hospitals.
The investigation into this tragic incident is ongoing.
Berkeley Township Mayor Carmen Amato issued the following statement.
“This is a tragic and heartbreaking day for our town and the entire Jersey Shore. This young person was out there every day protecting the lives of others. Our lifeguard teams, like so many along the shore, develop special connections with our community throughout the summer, which makes this loss even greater. On behalf of myself and our entire community, I offer our deepest and most heartfelt condolences to
the family and friends of this young man.”
Crisis Counselors will be available for beach staff employees.