A mother drowned at a New Jersey beach while saving her daughter and two sons when a current dragged them out to sea.
The unidentified family from Wernersville, Pennsylvania was on a vacation in North Wildwood when the tragedy unfolded on Tuesday.
Authorities said they received a 911 call reporting four swimmers in distress after the 19-year-old daughter and two sons, aged eight and 10, had trouble swimming in the rough water.
A video taken by a witness, Jonathan Selepak, showed a large emergency response at the shoreline.
Authorities said a mother-of-five drowned on Tuesday while trying to save three of her children from rip currents at a North Wildwood, New Jersey, beach (pictured)
The mother, 49, went into the water for her children after they were pulled out too far.
‘The mother was calling out to them to come back and when she saw they were having trouble, she jumped into the water,’ Fire Chief Dominick J. McClain told NJ.com.
The woman was able to rescue both her sons, but the daughter continued to struggle in the water and the mother went back for her.
Authorities said in the press release that emergency crews located the daughter about 50 yards from the shoreline and brought her back to shore.
But for the mother, it was too late.
Authorities located the mother face down in the ocean about 150 yards north of the family’s initial location.
‘Crew quickly removed the victim from the water via a rescue board,’ the press release said. ‘Upon exiting the water NWFD and NWBP personnel immediately initiated live-saving measures on the unconscious victim.’
Jonathan Selepak told CBS Philly: ‘I saw just the head bobbing up and down because so many people were there. I knew they were doing CPR.’
Meanwhile, CBS Philly reports that her two other children and husband were unaware of the tragic accident because they were at the nearby Montego Bay Hotel.
The mother was taken to Cape Regional Medical Center with AtlantiCare Paramedics on board the ambulance. She was later pronounced dead.
The daughter and two sons were transported to Cape Medical Regional Center for an evaluation, but are expected to be okay.
‘That’s the way life works unfortunately and since the kids were saved, that’s wonderful, but it’s unfortunate the mother has had to pass,’ Selepak told CBS Philly.