Concern Over Rip Currents Has Beach Patrols Down The Shore On Alert
WILDWOOD, N.J., (CBS) – The concern over rip currents has beach patrols down the shore on high alert.
Beach patrol in Atlantic City reported 48 rescues Tuesday, but they do note that today wave size is decreasing.
In Wildwood, the beach patrol rescued seven swimmers today.
Two beach areas, Poplar Avenue and Leaming Avenue, are flagged for rip currents.
With storm out at sea, the surf is up.
“A hurricane just went by off shore, that’s why we got a little bit of swell today and last night,” a surfer said.
But when the surf is up, the riptides roll in.
“Don’t panic. Panic will put you under. Be more buoyant and keep calm,” said Lt. Steve McGuinn of the Wildwood Beach Patrol.
Lt. McGuinn has been with the Wildwood Beach Patrol for 25 years.
Normally he says the beach patrol might rescue three people a day, but with the storm out to sea over the past few days, that number more than doubled Wednesday due to stronger riptides.
Samantha Zaroff, of Philadelphia, is on vacation in Wildwood. She says she experienced her first riptide Tuesday while swimming with her friends.
“He had to hold on to me and pull me because I was going. I was swimming, but I wasn’t moving. I was just staying in place,” she said.
McGuinn says as long as swimmers keep their cool, and don’t fight against the rip current, but instead let it pull them out, the swimmer should be able to swim laterally to the shore line to safety.
But adding to the beach patrols’ concern this season has been all the rain we’ve seen recently.
Pooling water on the beach that eventually drains out to sea has created more unpredictable riptides than times prior.
“The currents are up and running right now,” Lt. McGuinn said.
Stronger riptides expected Thursday as well, but the good news they should subside by Friday.
Cape May Beach Patrol reported two rescues today.
There were also ten water-related injuries reported yesterday.
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