BARNEGAT LIGHT, NJ — Investigators are delving into the circumstances surrounding the death of a 30-year-old Belmar whose body was recovered on September 25 in the waters off Long Beach Island.

The body of Christopher Lucin, who authorities said was last seen on September 19, was discovered by the U.S. Coast Guard at 8:45 a.m. about one mile off the coast of Barnegat Light. The results of an autopsy performed on September 26 are pending to determine a cause of death and how long the body was in the water. The investigation is being handled by the New Jersey State Police.

Powerful rip currents and strong ocean surf, fueled by offshore hurricanes, have been responsible for three drownings in separate incidents along the Jersey Shore in less than a week:

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On September 22, Erin Higgins, 42, of Harriman, N.Y., died after being pulled by first responders from the ocean on September 20 on the Asbury Park beach near Deal Lake Drive.

On September 24, Joell Lanfrank, 44, of Seaside Park died after she went into the surf in that beachfront town, and Glen Carullo, 60, of Waldwick, also died on that day, unable to survive the rough waters off Point Pleasant Beach after he went into the ocean to help a distressed swimmer.

During the past weekend, more than 100 people have been rescued from the turbulent waters, including 35 rescues in Belmar alone — despite a swimming ban that has been in effect along the borough’s 1.3-mile beachfront since Saturday.

Belmar’s swimming ban is expected to remain in effect until surf conditions improve. The National Weather Service reports there is a high risk for the formation of dangerous and life-threatening rip currents at ocean beaches along the Jersey Shore through at least September 27. Waves are expected to reach up to 7 feet.

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