ATLANTIC CITY — Former Montgomery County sheriff’s deputy and sheriff’s candidate, James Glorioso was involved in efforts to save a child and his father from drowning at a beach in New Jersey on Monday.
According to a press release, 58-year-old Thanh Bui, of Pennsylvania died while rescuing his son from the Atlantic Ocean.
Atlantic City Police, Atlantic City Fire Department, beach patrols and EMS responded to reports of a child drowning and his father — later identified as Bui — entering the water to save him at a beach at New Jersey Avenue.
While responding, the 11 year-old child was able to swim back to the shoreline.
Glorioso, an Amsterdam resident, had been on the beach using a metal detector when he observed Bui struggling in the water.
Glorioso said he saw the 11-year-old make his way to the shore, but didn’t see the father, so he grabbed a boogie board and swam out.
“I didn’t think about anything else, but to save this guy,” Glorioso said. “I don’t even remember swimming out.”
He said once he made his way to Bui, he put him on the boogie board. Glorioso said he hadn’t realized how far out he swam and by the time he put Bui on the boogie board, he had ran out of energy. He said he swam about 100 meters out.
“I couldn’t paddle back,” Glorioso said. “I was getting beat by the ocean too.”
Beach Patrol Chief Steve Downey along with members of the fire department made their way out to the two men and assisted them to shore. Bui was unresponsive and fire fighters immediately began performing CPR, according to the release.
Bui was transported to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, City Division where he died. His son was also transported to the medical center for treatment.
According to the release, the Atlantic City Beach Patrol was off-duty at the time of the drowning. Upon hearing of the need for assistance, they immediately responded from a nearby beach tent.
Glorioso said he suggests for the beach to put signs up at the entrances and down the walkpath to inform people when lifeguards are on duty, or have the lifeguards start earlier during the summer beach season.
“For people on vacation, don’t underestimate the power of the ocean,” Glorioso said. “Be more aware of what is going on.”