PERTH AMBOY – Authorities recovered the body of a 29-year-old city man who drowned on Wednesday, police chief Benjamin Ruiz announced.
Jorge Ortega-Romero pushed a 7-year-old girl toward the shore before he drowned after they were both pulled out into the water by an undercurrent, according to a police department statement.
Isabel Lozada, 32, a relative of Ortega-Romero, took several children she was babysitting to play by the water in the area of Sadowski Parkway and High Street around 7 p.m. on Wednesday.
When Ortega-Romero pushed the girl toward the shore, a 12-year-old boy went into the water with them. Lozada yelled for help, and several fishermen called 9-1-1. A 14-year-old boy and an auxiliary police officer on patrol in the area helped get the children to shore, but they were unable to locate Romero.
Police began an organized search effort, which was assisted by the Perth Amboy Police Marine Services Bureau, New York Police Department Harbor Patrol, Union County Police Marine Patrol, New Jersey State Police Marine Services Bureau, U.S Coast Guard, Perth Amboy Fire Marine Unit, FDNY Marine Unit, NYPD Air Sea Rescue, Coast Guard Air Sea Rescue, the NYPD Scuba Unit and the Perth Amboy Police Chaplain Corps.
The efforts were halted at approximately midnight and were reestablished on Thursday. Ortega-Romero’s body was recovered at 9:47 a.m. on Aug. 15 near the area where he was last seen.
The children were taken to the Raritan Bay Medical Center Perth Amboy Division where they were treated and released, police said.
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