New Jersey Surfer Dies After Collapsing On Beach

As reported on

AVALON – Kristopher Zuccato died Sunday afternoon after walking from the ocean and collapsing on the beach at 30th Street.

Avalon police said Zuccato, 32, of Stone Harbor, had been surfing shortly before 1:51 p.m. before collapsing on the crowded beach.

Police did not identify a possible cause of death, but acquaintances of Zuccato said he had a heart condition and they believe his death is not related to surfing.

Police said they do not suspect foul play.

Zuccato was remembered for his love of surfing and his amiable personality.

“A lot of people were just in shock,” said Mark Heryslak, a friend who was also on the scene after Zuccato passed out. “It’s a loss. It’s just a sad day for Seven Mile Island.”

Heryslak said Zuccato, like himself, took to surfing as a lifestyle. Zuccato was on his board Sunday afternoon on a surfing beach.

There were several surfers in the water, including Zuccato’s friends, who were in town following the popular Brendan Borek Memorial Surf Contest this past weekend.

Zuccato left the water and collapsed. Two friends began to administer CPR. Heryslak said Zuccato was unconscious and cold.

A nearby lifeguard arrived at the scene. While the two people administered CPR, the lifeguard ran back to the stand to radio for assistance, said Kevin Scarpa, Avalon’s chief of emergency medical services.

The lifeguard allowed the two people to continue CPR until rescue crews arived, Scarpa said.

Police said Zuccato was taken to Cape Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

His family in Stone Harbor could not be reached Monday.

On Sunday night – about four hours after the incident – dozens of friends paid tribute to Zuccato by paddling into the ocean and forming a circle on their boards, said Jim Pellini, whose two sons were friends with Zuccato.

Transworld SURF would like to extend our deepest condolences to friends and family of Kristopher Zuccato.