By Molly Daly
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – There’s a lot to like about September at the shore: the weather’s still warm enough for a day on the beach, where you’ll have plenty of room, since the summer crowds are gone. But this weekend, getting more than your feet wet is a bad idea.
This is the last weekend for beaches to be guarded in Wildwood, and lifeguards have their work cut out for them.
“We have some dangerous conditions where a couple of storms offshore are causing high waves, big waves, a lot of surf, which in turn causes very dangerous rip currents,” says Wildwood Beach Patrol Captain Steve Stocks.
Rip currents are narrow channels of water flowing swiftly back out to sea. Because of the risks they pose, Stocks says they’re doing preventive lifeguarding, allowing beachgoers to stand no more than knee deep in the water, where they’ll get a sense of the current’s power.
“Rip currents can move eight to ten miles an hour — they can sweep you off your feet. We estimate that 80 percent of ocean rescues are caused by rip currents.”
Although the rough conditions are an East Coast surfer’s dream, Stocks says hitting the surf is a bad idea.
“If you’re going to say that conditions are too dangerous for people to go in the water, it follows suit that it’s too dangerous for surfers to go in the water.”