The Asbury Park Press has a report today of a dramatic rescue of a man who appeared to be near death in the surf at Sea Bright Sunday.


The victim, identified only as a large man in his 50s, was pulled from rough surf by a lawyer who happened to be surfing nearby and resuscitated by an emergency room nurse, an orthopedic surgeon and an anesthesiologist, all of whom happened to be on the beach at the time.

The article reports that attorney Peter O’Mara of Shrewsbury

was on his surfboard, taking advantage of the large waves left behind by Tropical Storm Hanna when he spotted the man in trouble shortly after 2 p.m., in the water at the northern tip of the borough’s public beach, next to the private Chapel Hill Beach Club.

“I just caught my best wave of the summer and went to walk back to the water when I caught, in the corner of my eye, a woman yelling, trying to help an unconscious body out of the water,” O’Mara said.

O’Mara said he threw his surfboard on the sand and ran into the water to help the victim, who he said was rolling around in the waves about 20 to 25 feet from the shoreline.

“He was rolling around like a log,” O’Mara said. “He wasn’t breathing. His eyes were closed, his mouth was shut, his face was blue, and his lips were purple.”

Holmdel resident Jimmy Casazza, owner of trucking company Swift Rock Transportation, was one of several beachgoers who jumped into the surf to help O’Mara grab the unidentified victim from the ocean.

“One man jumped in with his clothes on,” Casazza said. “A couple more people jumped in. . . . I swam to (the victim) as quickly as I could, rolled him over and pulled him to shore.”

On the beach, the healthcare professionals came together to perform CPR and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to restore the victim’s breathing.

No lifeguards were on duty in the immediate vicinity because the town usually ceases lifeguard services after Labor Day, but some were working the Skimboard event about 500 yards to the south. One man ran to alert them, and they joined the rescue effort.

The victim was taken to Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, where he was said to be in stable condition.

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