Lightning-struck NJ rescuer’s funeral is Saturday

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BERKELEY TOWNSHIP – Visiting services will be held on Friday for Keith Pinto, 19, who was fatally struck by lightning while serving as a lifeguard at White Sands Beach in Berkeley Township on Monday afternoon.

Visitations will be held at the Timothy E. Ryan Home for Funerals on Sainte-Catherine Boulevard in Toms River from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday. Pinto’s funeral will be at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday at St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church on Hooper Avenue in Toms River, followed by interment in St. Joseph’s Cemetery.

Candlelight vigil for Keith Pinto in Berkeley Heights (OCSN)

Beaches in Berkeley Township were reopened on Friday after being closed for most of the week to allow lifeguards a time to mourn Pinto.

His twin brother Kevin thanked Gov. Phil Murphy via his Facebook page for ordering flags to be flown to half the staff on Friday in state buildings.

“I was devastated to learn of Keith’s passing in a tragic incident earlier this week. He has taken on the great selfless responsibility of protecting bathers at White Sands Beach, ”Murphy said in his executive order. “We mourn his loss and we will never forget his service to the Township of Berkeley and the many families he has kept safe. Our prayers are with Keith’s family, friends and fellow rescuers.

Pinto’s brother also thanked those who have shown support for the family since Monday.

“It’s so amazing how many people were affected by Keith’s passing. It also helps a lot to know that we have strong support in this community who are helping me and my family through this difficult time. . He would love to see everything you care about him, “Pinto wrote on his Facebook page.

Friends wrote messages like “we love you” and “we miss you” in red Sharpie on balloons in Pinto’s honor on Thursday and left post-it notes on his locker.

“Dude, you don’t understand how many people love you brother,” Kevin wrote on his Facebook page.

Eight people, including three other rescuers, were injured in the effects of the strike on White Sands Beach in Berkeley Township. They have all been released from hospitals, police said.

Pinto was a student at Ocean County Community College and graduated in 2020 from Toms River High School North where he did track and field.

Kevin Pinto told ABC 7 Eyewitness News that the four-year-old lifeguard aspired to be a sailor.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at [email protected] or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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