On Friday, the FDNY suffered an immense loss as Firefighter Mark Batista passed away while valiantly attempting to rescue his teenage daughter from a rip current at the Jersey Shore.
This incident occurred around 8:38 a.m. at Sylvania Ave Beach in Avon-by-the-Sea, and served as a catalyst for emergency support from multiple units, including the Area Network of Shore Water Emergency Responders (ANSWER). Eventually, the female juvenile was safely recovered and transferred to the Jersey Shore University Medical Center for evaluation.
In addition to the rescue team, support came in the form of divers, jet skis, boats, and even a drone in the search for the missing swimmer. Prior to 10 a.m., Mark was located by a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter, who were able to render an effort to take him from the water.
Emergency medical personnel provided a response, and he was immediately transported to the hospital, though sadly he did not survive the ordeal.
The FDNY offered an official statement of grief and shock in response to this tragedy. Amanda Farinacci Gonzalez wrote, “It was with heavy hearts that we bid farewell to Firefighter Batista. He dedicated a decade-and-a-half to serving the FDNY and his family’s intense grief is echoed by all in sympathy.”
The incident serves as a reminder of the dangers of entering the ocean without a lifeguard. The Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office, too, expressed caution in a Facebook post, warning beachgoers not to put themselves at risk.