CAPE MAY, New Jersey (WPVI) -- The 16-year-old lifeguard who was injured while on duty Thursday in Cape May has died, according to officials.
Norman Inferrera was rowing a lifeguard boat off of Reading Avenue beach on Thursday when he was broadsided by a wave and knocked unconscious, authorities confirmed Friday.
Other guards brought him to the shore and started CPR. He was then transported to Cooper University Hospital in Camden, New Jersey. He was pronounced dead Friday night.
"My heart, prayers, and condolences go out to the Inferrera family", said Mayor Zachary Mullock in a press release Saturday. "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."
Cape May Beach Patrol Chief Harry Back said, "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."
City manager Mike Voll added, "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."
Counselors are being made available to the other lifeguards.
Mullock's full written statement:
"My heart, prayers, and condolences go out to the Inferrera family. 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."