Father dies moments after saving his teenage son and two friends from ocean

James Clarke 
By: Wayne Morin

(Scroll down for video) A family is devastated over the sudden loss of their father, who is being hailed as a hero.

The loving father collapsed and died moments after rescuing his son and two other teenagers from a riptide in Long Beach, New Jersey.

James Clarke, 55, was reading a book with his wife Jane outside their beachfront vacation home when he was told the three boys were in trouble about 100 yards from shore.

Clarke, who is the owner of the Bedrooms Unlimited furniture store on Route 22 in Union, ran into the ocean and helped get the three boys.

His son, Peter Clarke, 15, said that one of his friends had water in his lungs.

Once he got the boys to safety, James Clarke collapsed and fell unconscious. His 15-year-old son Peter began CPR.

Paramedics then tried to save Clarke's life, but they were unsuccessful. It is suspected that he died of a heart attack.