The FDNY said Batista, a veteran assigned to Engine Company 226 in Brooklyn, lost his life while he and his family visited the Jersey Shore.
The tragic incident occurred when Batista reportedly rushed into the water 8:30 a.m. Friday when he noticed his teenage daughter struggling to swim.
A rescue team searched the waters for about 10 minutes before finding his daughter and pulling her from the ocean, according to police. She was rushed to an area hospital.
Batista, 39, was found submerged in the water around 10 a.m.
He was taken to Jersey Shore University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, police said.
Lifeguards were not on duty when the incident happened, according to authorities, but many were seen rushing over from area beaches to help with the search and rescue efforts, witness Anna Fabiano told Nexstar’s WPIX.
“We are heartbroken to learn about the death of Firefighter Mark Batista, who died Friday while swimming at the Jersey Shore,” the FDNY statement said. “Batista was a dedicated public servant who spent 15 years serving in the FDNY as both an EMT and a firefighter. We join his family in mourning his tragic passing.”