WEST NORRITON, Pa. (CBS) – A funeral service Friday honored the life of 16-year-old Cape May lifeguard who died last week after a tragic on-duty incident. Family and friends came out to St. Teresa of Avila Church in West Norriton, not far from the beloved lifeguard grew up in Phoenixville, to remember Norman Inferrera III.
The Cape May Beach Patrol stood in formation outside the church as his casket was carried through. It was a somber moment for all who knew the lively teen.READ MORE: 'I Just Have A Nightmare For Her': Loved Ones Of Hit And Run Victim Andree Broudo Still in Shock
“He was such an incredible kid. He wanted to become a lifeguard and he taught himself to row,” Marty Franco with the Cap May Beach Patrol said.
Norman was just 16 years old when he passed. Officials say he was on the job last week, helping keep swimmers close to shore when his lifeguard patrol boat flipped over in Cape May.
He was knocked unconscious when he hit his head on the boat. Lifeguards tried to save him, but he was rushed to a nearby hospital and died the following night.
Friends and family tell CBS3 he was known as, “Champ.”READ MORE: Double Shooting In South Philadelphia Leaves 1 Dead
Many in attendance remembered Norman for his love of health; some donned cutoff shirts in his honor.
“He was a big gym guy, loved the cutoffs so it was great that we all got them,” coworker Rebecca Luft said.
Earlier this week, Gov. Phil Murphy ordered that the U.S. and New Jersey flags be flown at half-staff at all state buildings and facilities on Friday in honor of Norman.
“Let’s take a moment to remember that our lifeguards take on a special responsibility. Norman was literally living his dream and being part of the team that keeps everyone safe,” Murphy said.MORE NEWS: Hunting Park Shooting Leaves 1 Dead, Philadelphia Police Say
Cape May will be also honoring Inferrera by naming a beach after him.