The recent drowning deaths of a man and woman are drawing attention to what many have called one of the most dangerous beaches in Atlantic City.
Atlantic City Beach Patrol officials say that 21-year-old Samuel Jackson of Lowell, Massachusetts and 22-year-old Thewinco Ceasar of Darby, Pa. were among a larger group in the water near a jetty at the beach at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard shortly before 7 p.m. Saturday.
The spot is just north of the Claridge Casino Hotel. The Beach Patrol says they were trying to keep people away from the rocks but couldn't get to Jackson and Ceasar fast enough. Authorities say they suddenly disappeared in the water about 30 yards from the beach, where there's a steep dropoff from a sandbar.
Lifeguards performed CPR and firefighters used a defibrillator after the pair was brought onto the beach. They were taken to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center where they were pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the hospital.
The drownings occurred while lifeguards were on-duty, the first time that has happened in Atlantic City in more than three decades. Last summer however, a 10-year-old boy vanished and died in the same spot while lifeguards were off-duty.
"This is one of the most dangerous beaches in Atlantic City right now," said Atlantic City Fire Department Chief Dennis Brooks.
Brooks believes the area is even more dangerous now in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.
"It's changed the whole bottom topography of the whole beach where you have these sand bars and deep gullies where they never were before," he said. "It's something that the city has to take a look at and develop some kind of strategy. We have a history here now. There have been drownings here."
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