updated 7/1/2009 10:59:09 AM ET 2009-07-01T14:59:09

A woman and a child have drowned off a popular south New Jersey resort community, where vacationers say rip currents were strong enough to have swept them away.

The Coast Guard and police say the child and the 28-year-old woman were pulled unconscious from the waters off North Wildwood after lifeguards went off duty Tuesday evening. Area vacationers recall rip currents and big waves at the time.

Beach patrol members responded and called the Coast Guard. Local and state police joined the search and rescue effort.

A second child was rescued. The child's condition hasn't been disclosed.

The drownings happened south of the Hereford Inlet Lighthouse, which was built in 1874 after numerous shipwrecks caused by strong currents and shifting sandbars.

The names of the victims haven't been released.

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