Around 9:30 a.m. — before lifeguards were on duty — police say the boy was struggling in the water at the New Jersey Avenue beach.
The boy's father went into the water to try to save him, and then he started to struggle as well. The boy made it to shore safely.
A former police officer from Amsterdam, New York grabbed a boogie board and went into the water to help the father. The chief of the Atlantic City Beach Patrol, Steve Downey, also dove in to help.
Police say the father was unresponsive when he was brought to shore. Firefighters performed CPR, and he was taken to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, where he died. He was later identified as Thanh Bui, 58, from Reading.
The 11-year-old was also treated at the hospital.