Swimmer who died was a ‘sweet, sweet girl’ to friends at Jenkinson’s
POINT PLEASANT BEACH — Zuzana Oravcová made a huge impression on her friends and co-workers at Jenkinson's in a short amount of time, before her death on Sunday.
"Right from the get-go, as soon as she came to work you could see how her personality was and her work ethic was. She came out of the gate ... running," Jessica Alongi, her boss from Jenkinson's Sweet Shop, told New Jersey 101.5. "She did not want you to lift a finger. She wanted to take care of everything herself. You could tell she was a go-getter, self motivated, through in her tasks and the jobs she was given."
"She never complained about anything. She just wanted to do a good job," Alongi said of the employee, who also became a fast friend. "She was a sweet, sweet girl. ... She lit up the room."
Oravcová, 24, went for a swim with Thomas Kadlec, 23, around 2:30 a.m. in the rough surf off the Jenkinson's boardwalk. Kadlec made it out of the water, but Oravcová did not. After a day-long search her body was found in the surf off Ocean Beach 2 in Toms River on Sunday night. Alongi said the two were good friends, and Oravcová had a boyfriend in Slovakia who was planning a trip to New York with her parents.
The two were part of a group of foreign students working at Jenks as part of the J-1 Visa program. Alongi said Oravcová was the first to arrive in the U.S. last May and quickly made friends with her fellow Slovakians and Americans.
"Jenkinson's does such a great job of integrating them as their own. It doesn't take long for them to get into the swing of things here," Alongi said.
Alongi said the students live in Point Pleasant Beach spend a lot of their free time together and work six days a week. They also get to take day trips and had visited Philadelphia, New York and Six Flags Great Adventure. The group is "devastated" at Oravcová's death, Alongi said.
No arrangements have yet been announced for Oravcová's funeral. Jenkinson's has been working with her family in Slovakia.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.
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