Lifeguards to the rescue, of a young girl in Brick

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BRICK – It was pure coincidence that three lifeguards were on a training run Monday at the same time as a young girl needed saving. It also helped that Matt Schwartz and Matt Jamieson — both of Point Pleasant— and Brett Tusinac, Chadwick Beach, had recently gone over making a rescue without equipment. “It felt good actually putting all the training we go through into a real life scenario even though we don’t really train for that specific situation,” stated Mr. Jamieson. “We just went over helping people without equipment and that’s what we had to do.” Their training run on the beach July 24 turned into a three-man rescue of a 10-year old girl caught in a rip current off a stretch of beach in Brick Township. Just before 4 p.m., the trio of Chadwick Beach lifeguards teamed up to rescue the girl who had drifted about 50 yards out in an area not heavily guarded. “It’s an area between Deauville and the Ocean Club [at Mantoloking],” explained lifeguard captain Ed Peters. “That’s where they were and it all happened so fast.” Mr. Schwartz, Mr. Jamieson and Mr. Tusinac were in the middle of a run along the beach and were about to turn around and head back south when they noticed a girl alone in the ocean. “It was a loosely guarded area and she had drifted out, away from the guards. We were wondering what she was doing so we waved to her and she was waving back,” explained Mr. Schwartz. “We didn’t know if she was okay or not but then we heard her yell, ‘help.’” Without any equipment or a second thought, the three guards threw off their sunglasses, hats and shirts and entered the water. Mr. Schwartz and Mr. Tusinac reached the girl first while Mr. Jamieson stayed back a little and helped with direction. “Matt Jamieson directed us, telling the girl to hold her breath when waves were coming,” recalled Mr. Schwartz. “At first she was panicking and everything but once we got to her we were asking her name and how old, trying to calm her down. Once we got her out of the water she was calmed down and happy she was out.” The guards returned the 10-year old to her uncle who was on the beach playing football with his nephews. “I’m really, really proud of them,” added Mr. Peters. “They stepped up in a real serious situation, put their training to use and saved the life of a 10-year old girl. We don’t need any more tragedies at the Jersey Shore.” To be in the right place at the right time definitely played a factor in Monday’s rescue but there is no substitute for the training and preparedness of Mr. Schwartz, Mr. Jamieson and Mr. Tusinac. “It was strong waves, strong rip currents — it was a tough day and they did a great job,” praised Mr. Peters. “It’s difficult to make an ocean rescue even when you have the proper equipment. “When you’re going out there without the proper equipment you can put yourself at risk too. They’re heroes, they really are.”

For more on this story, read The Ocean Star—on newsstands Friday or online in our e-Edition.