A Berkeley Township lifeguard was killed at the Jersey Shore on Monday (August 30) in South Seaside Park after being struck by lightning.
Police responded to the incident on the 21st Ave Beach at approximately 4:35 pm. The victim was identified as 19-year-old Keith Pinto of Toms River.
“This is a tragic and heartbreaking day for our town and the entire Jersey Shore,” Mayor Carmen Amato said regarding the fatal lightning strike.
Pinto was one of eight victims who were reported to have been either struck or were injured from the residual lightning strike. The other victims were taken to nearby hospitals for treatment.
Statement by Governor Murphy:
“Our hearts are with the family and friends of the young lifeguard killed by today’s horrific lightning strike on the beach in Berkeley Township, and we pray for a full recovery for those injured. I’ve spoken to Mayor Carmen Amato and offered the full support and assistance of our administration during this difficult time.”
The investigation is ongoing and officials say the beach will reopen for swimming on Friday. A GoFundMe page has been created to assist his family during this difficult time.
Our hearts are heavy this morning as we learn more about the tragic line of duty death of lifeguard Keith Pinto who was killed after being struck by lightning ⚡️ while sitting in his lifeguard stand. Our hearts go out to his family, friends & the entire lifeguard community. pic.twitter.com/igoHaX7ABh— Jones Beach Lifeguards (@BucketBuoy) August 31, 2021
The entire New Jersey Shore is mourning the loss of lifeguard Keith Pinto, 19, killed by lightning while guarding the beach & swimmers in his lifeguard stand Flowers&this note left on the stand now. GoFundMe for his family’s funeral cost started 1/2 @FOX29philly pic.twitter.com/n2u5NMVSgg— Steve Keeley (@KeeleyFox29) August 31, 2021
#NOW: A heartbreaking morning on the beach in Berkeley Township. People pay their respects after a 19-year-old lifeguard was killed by lightning yesterday.— Darlene Melendez (@DarleneMelendez) August 31, 2021
One woman in this photo tells me she is the mother of a 17-year-old lifeguard who performed CPR on Keith Pinto. @News12NJ pic.twitter.com/Wu6uJDi0uB
.@sheriffgolden & #MCONJ’s deepest thoughts and prayers are with the 19 year old lifeguard who was struck and killed by lightning late this afternoon in Seaside Park. Our thoughts remain with those who were injured on the beach. Please share important sfty tips. pic.twitter.com/irvQwg8DL9— Monmouth County Sheriff's Office (@MonmouthSheriff) August 31, 2021
Condolences to the family and friends of the South Seaside Park who lost his life in a lightning strike this afternoon while on duty.— Lavallette NJ (@LoveLavallette) August 31, 2021