by KYW’s David Madden
CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE, NJ (CBS) — There’s a move to close a section of the North Wildwood beach for good. A lawsuit filed in Cape May County Superior Court contends the Hereford Beach Inlet on the northern end of town is unsafe.
Four years ago, a Horsham man took his kids on their first trip to North Wildwood. It turned out to be the last for Brad Smith who, with 3 others, fell into the ocean while walking on the beach in what started as ankle deep water.
“It was a hole and the ebb currents that run in the Hereford Inlet from the back bays to the ocean can be fierce at times causing a whirlpool effect,” attorney Paul D’Amato told KYW Newsradio.
Smith’s body surfaced two days later a few miles away. The family has a separate wrongful death lawsuit pending, but has filed this action to shut down that beach because, according to the lawsuit, the beach is unprotected and that effect occurs twice a day every day with the tide.
“We decided to file an independent lawsuit to seek the closure of the beach on a permanent basis because, clearly, there’s a clear and present danger there,” D’Amato said.
He believes this is a first of its kind private legal action, at least in New Jersey. No comment from the state or the City of North Wildwood.