The men were identified as a 24-year-old man and his 20-year-old friend, both from Newark. A friend told the media that one of the men jumped from Pier C park into the river. The second man died trying to save the first man from drowning. Friends called the police before 6 a.m. and the bodies were recovered two hours later. The friend would not say why the first man jumped.
The bodies are unrelated to the case of Hoboken resident Andrew Jarzyk, a 27-year-old man who went missing after jogging near Pier C and Pier A around 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 31. As of yesterday, no new leads in that case had been made public.
The river's undertow is difficult to overcome. In 2005, a teenager jumped into the river after being pursued by police, but police did not jump in to save him, as the river's currents are too strong.
This is the third disturbing incident happening near the river in the early morning hours of a Sunday in the last two months. Aside from this incident and the Jarzyk disappearance, a man was found clinging to a pilon near Pier C around 2 a.m. on a Sunday a month ago after a day of St. Patrick's related celebrations in the city. The man claimed that three assailants had thrown him in. He said the assailants were unknown. Some media reports said that he had had a fight with his girlfriend in a bar earlier.
Hoboken has become an increasingly popular place for people in their 20s to hang out on weekends.
When we asked on Facebook about preventing tragedies, we got several reader responses.
"There should be ladders installed along the waterfront so that if you were to end up in the river you could climb out before you get cold, exhausted and drown. At least you would have a chance to save yourself...," wrote Carl, a reader.
"With Hoboken being so popular now with the town full of people drinking every weekend, I think the city needs more security along the waterfront. I know the police are stretched to the limit as it is, but other than installing more security cameras a physical security presence is needed," wrote Sheila.
City spokesman Juan Melli said on Monday afternoon, "Our sympathies are with the family and friends of [recent victims] Elias Serrano and Edwin Cruz Jr. Several months ago the City expanded its police presence along the waterfront with dedicated patrols from Class II Police officers. We are working with Public Safety and the Office of Emergency Management to explore additional strategies to improve public safety along the waterfront. The walkway railings along the waterfront all comply with relevant safety standards."
Do you have any thoughts? Read more readers' comments or leave one by clicking on our April 13 post on Facebook , or leave a comment below.
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