At least seven children were rescued from the choppy ocean water off Atlantic City this week in two separate incidents by a combination of Good Samaritans, police officers, a firefighter and off-duty lifeguards, authorities said.
The most recent rescue unfolded Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. when three siblings from Philadelphia — an 11-year-old girl, a 9-year-old girl and an 8-year-old boy — were in the ocean and began to struggle, police said.
A man who also happened to be on the Virginia Avenue beach, Stephen Moore of Clark Summit, Pennsylvania, went in to help, but police said he and the three children got stuck on an outfall pipe as the quartet got pounded by the surf.
Two police officers — Ramir Hayes and Brian Victoria-Garcia — arrived, heard Moore calling for help and raced into the water, police said. Victoria-Garcia remained on the pipe to assist Moore while Hayes hoisted the 11-year-old onto his back and brought her to shore. Hayes then returned for the 9-year-old and carried her to safety.
Meanwhile, Atlantic City Beach Patrol Chief Steve Downey, lifeguard Brian Cain and Atlantic City firefighter B.J. Hamilton were off-duty doing maintenance work at a nearby lifeguard stand when they hurried to the beach. Police said they joined Officer Scott Crawford and the four helped rescue the 8-year-old boy and Moore, the Good Samaritan, from the pipe.
The three children, three officers and Moore were treated at a local hospital for cuts and scrapes suffered while on clinging to the pipe, Atlantic City police Lt. Kevin Fair said.
The children were at the beach with their mother, Fair said.
Three days earlier, Dijon Brooks and two other Good Samaritans rushed into the ocean to pull at least four struggling children from the ocean off Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard at about 5 p.m., according to police. The children were out of the water already when police arrived.
Fair said police received conflicting reports from witnesses about how many kids were in the ocean — somewhere between four and seven.
One girl was taken to the the hospital to be checked, police said. That group of children was not accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Lifeguards will begin patrolling beaches May 29 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Police remind beachgoers not to swim when the beach patrol is not on duty
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