Sandy Hook Drowning Victim Identified

December 19, 2017
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The entrance to Gunnison Beach on Sandy Hook, where Ronald Moore, 69 of Union drowned last week.

By Jay Cook |

SANDY HOOK – An early morning drowning last week on one of Gateway National Recreation Area’s many beaches was ruled accidental, local authorities said.

On Dec. 6, Ronald Moore, 69, of Union, was fishing in the area of Gunnison Beach when a witness told authorities Moore “had gone into the rough surf to retrieve equipment and was overcome by the waves,” said Middletown Township Police Department Det. Lt. Paul Bailey.

Middletown Police and Federal Park Rangers responded to the situation at 8:07 a.m., where they located Moore in waist-deep water. Moore was transported to Monmouth Medical Center, Long Branch, where attempts to save his life were unsuccessful.

Daphne Yun, a spokeswoman for Gateway National Recreation Area, said while it is an off-season for lifeguards, fishing is still not permitted at life-guarded beaches. She said, “situational awareness” is important.

“Your safety is Gateway’s priority,” Yun said in a statement to The Two River Times. “All visitors should be aware of changing tides and weather conditions. Watch for unexpected large waves that crash up onto the shore. Never turn your back on the ocean.”

The drowning marks the third death in waters surrounding Sandy Hook this year. On July 17, 12-year-old Bianca Palma, Elizabeth, drowned in the waves off Beach E around 5:50 p.m. CPR efforts restarted her breathing but she died the next morning at Monmouth Medical Center.

On Aug. 4, Sinisa Bjelajac, 44, Hoboken, was kitesurfing in Horseshoe Cove, located on Sandy Hook’s bay side. He was found unconscious in the water by a nearby boater but couldn’t be reached. Bjelajac was found deceased on Aug. 10 floating in the surf about 200 yards out at Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park.

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This article was first published in the Dec. 14-21, 2017 print edition of The Two River Times.

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