ISLAND BEACH STATE PARK, N.J. - An off-duty New Jersey correctional officer rescued an elderly man who had been stranded in open water off the coast of Ocean County for hours after his boat sank, according to police.
New Jersey State Policemen's Benevolent Association said Officer Chad Ammerman was alerted by a fisherman about an 82-year-old man who seen floating near the coast.
Police were searching for the elderly man near where his boat sank but the current drifted him far away from the wreckage, police said.
According to a press release, Officer Ammerman emptied a cooler and swam out 300 yards to the man in distress. Ammerman relied on hand signals from people on the shore to guide him through choppy waters towards the victim.
Officer Ammerman had the elderly man hold onto the cooler started dragging him back to shore when a passing boat assisted the water rescue.
"We should all be incredibly proud of Correctional Police Officer Chad Ammerman today," President of the New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association Local 105 William Sullivan said. "He risked his own life to save another’s, he is the true definition of a hero."
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