NEW JERSEY (PIX11)– A young man and a teen drowned at a New Jersey beach Tuesday afternoon, and the deaths are renewing calls to make water safety part of the Garden State’s school curriculum.

The swimmers, ages 17 and 22, died after being caught in the sand pits at Mine Hill Beach, authorities said. Divers recovered the bodies after a group alerted EMS personnel at the beach at 5:23 p.m. that the two males went into the water and never came out, officials said.

The identities of the swimmers have not been released.

The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, which is now investigating, said that tangled vegetation in the water hampered rescue efforts.

“People who think that, ‘Oh that won’t happen to me,’ and then it happens, because you don’t know what’s under the water,” local Robin Engle told PIX11 News.

The beach hasn’t been maintained for years, and area residents said that lifeguards haven’t worked the water since 2019.

But despite the danger, this beach is a popular option for locals, and especially young people, to cool down in the summer months, area residents said.

“If people don’t have pools, they want to cool off somehow, so they come here, they find different ways to get in,” said Caitlyn Kramaratich.

Tuesday’s tragedy at follows a series of drownings across New Jersey that have seen as many as 10 people drown in the month of June.

It’s all reigniting a push to get legislation passed that would make swimming part of the state’s curriculum.

“If you indoctrinate them from a young age, they grow up with it and it starts to really have an impact,” said New Jersey State Assemblyman Sean T. Kean.

Kean re-introduced his water safety education bill this week, citing staggering data that shows drowning is the leading cause of accidental death in children nationwide.

The legislation would require New Jersey schools to include water safety training in their curricula.