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The Journal magazines are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Aug 31, 2021

Young Lifeguard Fatally Struck by Lightning in South Seaside Park

On Aug. 30 at 4:35 pm, the Berkeley Township Police Department responded to the 21st Avenue Beach in South Seaside Park for a report of a lightning strike involving multiple people on the beach.

Upon arrival, first aid and advanced life support were immediately rendered to the victims.

It was determined that a total of eight victims, four of whom were lifeguards, were reported to have been either struck or were injured from the residual lightning strike.

One of the victims, a Berkeley Township lifeguard, 19-year-old Keith Pinto, of Toms River, succumbed to his injuries.

The remaining victims were triaged and treated for their injuries at surrounding hospitals. The investigation into this tragic incident is ongoing.

Berkeley Township Mayor Carmen Amato issued the following statement regarding the fatal lightning strike in South Seaside Park today: “This is a tragic and heartbreaking day for our town and the entire Jersey Shore. This young person was out there every day protecting the lives of others. Our lifeguard teams, like so many along the shore, develop special connections with our community throughout the summer, which makes this loss even greater. On behalf of myself and the entire community, I offer our deepest and most heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of this young man.”

Berkeley Township’s ocean beaches will be closed for swimming but open for sunbathers today through Thursday as beach staff and lifeguards will be off.