Rip current warning at NJ beaches

June 30, 2009 3:56:09 PM PDT
As we head into the holiday weekend, a warning has been issued for swimmers headed to the Jersey Shore.The beaches will be a popular destination, and visitors will need to be on the lookout for strong rip currents. Lifeguards have already made more than a dozen rescues over the past weekend.

A line of rip currents at Seaside Heights last weekend led to 15 rescues. The beach was busy Tuesday, and thankfully, the water was welcoming.

"Currently, we don't have rip currents because the surf has calmed down a bit," lifeguard Rob Fain said. "If the wind stays up like this, it could kick up some surf and we could have a busy weekend."

Parents along the beach are keeping eagle eye watches anyway, even when the surf is up just a little.

"They kinda stay in the surf and just play there," said parent Christie Kemler, of Quakertown, Pennsylvania. "I took them in a little bit, but just one at a time with me."

"I keep him close to me," said parent Kate Susen, of Orange County. "I always hold his hand and try to support both of us."

"She might go get some water, but that's it," parent Michael Lewis, of Maple Shade, said. "She don't ever go in the water by herself."

So, can you recognize a rip current? The lifeguards point out a line of sand rolling out to sea, which signifies a very minor rip current with no muscle. But what about the dangerous ones?

"When it's moving out, it pretty much looks like a river in between waves coming in," lifeguard Nick Casper said. "Water moving fast to the north or south, and big waves typically cause larger and stronger rip currents."

The lifeguards can spot them right away, but parents had a harder time seeing the currents. So take your cues from the lifeguards.

If you see a lifeguard consistently blowing at people in a certain area, that should trigger that the area might be dangerous.

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WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King


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