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Saturday, June 15, 2024

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Cape May Lifeguard Involved in Row Boat Accident Dies

Cape May Beach Reopens

By Press Release

CAPE MAY – The city announced the death of lifeguard Norman Inferrera III.
According to a city release, Inferrera, 16, was involved in an incident that occurred off Reading Avenue Beach Aug. 19. 
Based on current information, while rowing a lifeguard boat in the ocean, the boat was broadsided by a wave and flipped over. Inferrera was knocked unconscious. Fellow lifeguards responded immediately to his aid.
“My heart, prayers and condolences go out to the Inferrera family,” stated Mayor Zachary Mullock. “Even at such a young age, Norman was loved by his fellow lifeguards. No words can express the sadness suffered by all of our Beach Patrol family. Norman chose to protect others. He did so professionally and worked hard at it. That is an extraordinary attribute for anyone, especially at 16 years old. The Cape May community cares so deeply for those who protect us. I know this entire community is going to do anything it can for Norman’s family and friends.”
Cape May Beach Patrol Chief Harry Back expressed his condolences. 
“My thoughts and prayers are with the Inferrera family. He was a beloved member of our Beach Patrol family. Norman had a permanent smile on his face and was living out his dream to be a lifeguard,” Back stated.
City Manager Mike Voll stated, “Chief Back and the entire Beach Patrol have shown the utmost professionalism while simultaneously providing care to all those touched so deeply by Norman. I want to thank all of the beach patrols who gave their valuable assets and gave our Patrol help in this time of need.”
“As the city collectively grieves the passing of this bright light from our world, far too soon, we remind and encourage those needing an ear to listen or a shoulder to lean on, to reach out to their support system and seek counseling,” a release from Cape May reads. “The city and Chief Back immediately provided grief counselors for all Beach Patrol staff. Those who may have already returned to their winter locales are always members of our Cape May family, and we stand ready to wrap our arms around all who need it.”
The city is planning to consider renaming Reading Avenue beach in Inferrera’s honor, according to City Manager Michael Voll, adding that an investigation is too early in its stages to know if procedure changes to the beach patrol’s operations would be necessary.
“Being responsible for all public safety in the city, we will be reviewing changes,” he said, in an email to the Herald.

After the accident, Inferrera’s family created a GoFundMe page for medical expenses, which, as of Aug. 23, raised over $158,575. According to an update posted on the fundraiser’s page by Kathleen Inferrera Price, Inferrera’s aunt and the fundraiser’s organizer, her nephew’s medical costs will be covered by the city’s insurance, and the family will open two annual scholarships with the proceeds in the teen’s honor, one through the beach patrol and another through Phoenixville Area High School, where Inferrera was a student. 

“Champ would be so glad to know that he will be helping future college-bound students achieve their dreams and goals! I can clearly see his smile now,” Price wrote. 

The fundraiser can be accessed by clicking here.

Spout Off

Lower Township – As a retired long time bus driver for NJT,and an even longer resident of LT : Thank you to all the school bus drivers for an accident free year. It is a monumental achievement in this day and age!

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Del Haven – I couldn't help but note that a Republican Rep likened Trump's speech to that of a drunk uncle at a dinner party, when he ranted about Milwaukee as being a terrible "city", Pelosi…

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Wildwood – I think it's only fitting wbp honors past chief cirelli with some sort of badges on their uniforms . Chief Lou lived for the summers and only wished the best for our city

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