BELMAR, NJ—It wasn’t an emergency in the surf, but in the sand that had Belmar first-responders jump into action on the Eighth Avenue beach yesterday afternoon.
An 8-year-old boy became entrapped in an eight-foot deep hole dug in the sand after it collapsed around him and he was no longer visible, according to the Belmar Police Department.
Receiving the 911 call at about 1:54 p.m.on July 18, police were quickly joined by Belmar lifeguards, the Belmar First Aid Squad and Belmar Fire Department at the scene, where the boy was rescued from beneath the sand, the police said in a release.
After the boy was assessed by paramedics, the Belmar First Aid Squad transported him and his parents to Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Neptune. No information on the boy’s identity or his condition was released.
Social media posts by beachgoers who gathered at the scene state that the rescuers used a ladder to get to the boy. While it was not known how long it took them to unearth the boy, witnesses said it was far longer a simple, five-minute rescue.
And once they got to him, the first-responders — sweaty and covered with sand in the sizzling heat — received a resounding round of applause from the beachgoers surrounding the scene.
Around the same time, Belmar suspended the sale of daily beach badges along the entire 1.3-mile oceanfront in order to maintain social distancing rules. According to Belmar Council President Thomas Brennan in a Facebook post, the fullest beaches were at Eighth, 18th, 19th, and 20th Avenues, and 6,500 daily badges were sold for the day.
On Friday, July 17, borough officials announced that daily badge sales will now be limited to 7,500 or fewer, depending on the number of beachgoers with seasonal badges and the time of high tide on any given day. The restriction was put in place so that the borough does not exceed capacity limitations in order to maintain social distancing along the beachfront.
The next high tide will be at 7:08 p.m. on July 19.
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