Jalan Alston, 18, was visiting the Jersey shore with two friends when he answered the call to help them as they started having trouble in the water on Friday night before 7 p.m.
The U.S. Coast Guard says Jalan pushed the two swimmers to the shore, but he never returned. One of his friends was able to call 911.
"Our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of Jalan," said Capt. Jonathan Theel, commander of Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay. "It's always difficult to suspend a case and it weighs especially heavy on our hearts knowing that he was helping others."
According to Chief Doug Biagi with the Ventnor Police Department, Jalan's body was later recovered Saturday night in Atlantic City.
Jalan's older brother, Mark, tells Action News that Jalan will always be remembered for being full of love and his willingness to positively impact others.
"My brother is best described as strong and selfless, he always looked out for me the same way I looked out for him. He was pure of love and will always be remembered for his positive impacts due to the fact that I don't have any negative ones. He was never combative and treated everyone fairly and equally. He is courageous and one of the smartest kids I know," Mark said.
Jalan was a 2020 graduate of George Westinghouse High School and was celebrating his recent graduation in Ventnor.
"I love him and I will cherish every memory I have with him, he made me a better person because I always knew that him being my younger brother he'd be watching and copying me. I hope he watches over me and feels the love I have for him, he will never be forgotten," said Mark.
In a Facebook post, Chief Biagi expressed his condolences to Jalan's family and the Ventnor community.