16-Year-Old New Jersey Lifeguard To Have Beach Named in His Honor After Dying in Boating Accident

by Courtney Blackann
(Photo by Ozkan Bilgin/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

A New Jersey town is mourning the death of a 16-year-old teen whose bright future was extinguished this past weekend. Norman V. Inferrera III tragically lost his life in a boating accident while on duty as a lifeguard. The teen took a lot of pride in his job, officials said.

Following the teen’s death, the Cape May Beach Patrol announced it would rename the beach where Inferrera worked in his honor, according to reports by People magazine.

“The family is deeply moved and became very emotional upon the news,” Kathleen Price, Inferrera’s aunt, wrote on a GoFundMe set up for the family. “The CMBP also made us aware that 100% of the medical bills will be covered through the city insurance.”

Additionally, Infferrera’s aunt also said that a scholarship benefitting students at both the Cape May Beach Patrol as well as Phoenixville Area High School in Pennsylvania would be presented each year.

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

How the Boat Accident Happened

Inferrera was aboard a boat which was making sure swimmers didn’t get caught in the rough surf as weather conditions worsened. Rough water conditions and boats are dangerous in any situation. Unfortunately, the boat capsized in the seas and Inferrera hit his head hard.

“He had to be resuscitated twice and airlifted to Cooper trauma unit,” Price wrote on the teen’s GoFundMe account. “His brain has suffered extensive and permanent damage. In addition, he suffered severe damage to one lung, damage to his liver, two broken collarbones, broken ribs and a very serious eye injury.”

Despite medical professional’s best efforts, the teen succumbed to his injuries. Hi brain showed no activity. His family was able to share in one last goodbye.

The Cape May Beach Patrol offered a heartfelt message online.

“No words can describe the overwhelming grief we feel as a community,” the patrol wrote. “Norman will forever be remembered by the Cape May Beach Patrol as the hard-working, bright, and lovable lifeguard that kept Hughes Beach safe.”

They continued:

“His presence on the patrol, as well as in all other parts of his life, will be irreplaceable. Our thoughts and prayers go out especially to Norman’s family. We can only thank them for raising someone as selfless and giving as Norman Inferrera. Rest in peace champ.”

In addition to the CMBP’s offer of sympathy, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy also expressed his deep condolences to the family in a post online.

“Deeply saddened by the tragic passing of 16-year-old rookie lifeguard Norman Inferrera III this weekend. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, his Cape May Beach Patrol colleagues, and the entire Cape May community.”