Rescuers save mother, daughter trapped under capsized boat in Barnegat Inlet

The four fire company members, who are lifeguards and EMTs, responded to the scene Sunday night.

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Thursday, August 11, 2022
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BARNAGET LIGHT, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Members of the Barnegat Light Volunteer Fire Company were honored Thursday night for saving a woman and her young daughter who became trapped underneath a capsized boat last weekend.

The Ocean County fire company members, who are lifeguards and EMTs, responded to the Barnegat Inlet Sunday night, along with the Barnegat Light First Aid Squad and the U.S. Coast Guard.

According to the fire company, two jet skis were launched from the 10th Street boat ramp, each carrying two rescuers: Firefighter Bobby Selfridge, Firefighter Andrew Baxter, EMT Hugh Shields, and Water Rescue Captain Lee Major.

The call said there were six people on the boat at the time.

Once the rescuers arrived, they found four people in the water.

The four people were placed on boats and taken to safety.

However, the rescuers discovered two more people were trapped inside the boat.

"Our team in the water determined the best way to rescue the women and (child)," the fire company said.

Firefighter Selfridge swam under and in the capsized boat. He was then able to pull out the mother and toddler.

Lifeguard Ted Slahetka then transported the victims to the hospital as a precautionary measure.

"A tremendous job well done to everyone and all agencies involved," the fire company said.

The Barnegat Light town council honored the members of the fire department, and all others who helped in the rescue, on Thursday night.

Selfridge wore a Superman shirt for the ceremony.

In a Facebook post, the Barnegat Light First Aid Squad said, "Amazing job to all involved and we are thankful to have some of these first responders on our first aid squad."