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NJ Swimmers Warned To Be Careful In The Ocean [AUDIO]

Authorities have suspended the search for the body of a youngster who disappeared in the surf while swimming in Atlantic City.

Rescue craft search the water off Atlantic City
Rescue craft search the water off Atlantic City (WCAU TV)

Ten-year-old Khitan Devine of Philadelphia went under Sunday night around 7 p.m. while swimming with his sister.

This is the 3rd drowning incident along the Jersey Shore in the past few weeks – and several other swimmers are lucky to be alive after being saved from rip currents by lifeguards.

Kathleen Pearson, an American Red Cross Health and Safety Services Manager, says, “I think people take the ocean for granted – it’s visually appealing, it’s a lot of fun, but also has its dangers with it if you’re not careful.”

She says when people are considering going into the ocean, “They should decide where they’re going to swim – that’s the first, most important thing, and they should never swim along and they should always swim in a designated swimming area – when a lifeguard is there, and prepared to help them in case they ever have an emergency – and they have to check the surf conditions ahead of time – making sure their swimming abilities equals whatever that condition is.”

Pearson adds if someone is caught in a rip current, “You never want to fight against it…you actually want to go with it slightly – you want to swim gradually out of the rip current – going in the direction the rip is taking you- but diagonally towards shore – fighting against it is only going to make your situation worse- you’re going to be exhausted and you’re not going to have the ability to get to safety…swim diagonally across it, and you will make it to land – it might be a little further down than you expected, but at least the current will help you, and guide you in that direction.”

She also points out, “A swimming pool is nice, calm waters, but in the ocean you have other factors, especially the ocean currents, and the ocean waves – the ocean is very strong …if you’re not a really strong swimmer you might want to consider the lake and the backyard pool.”

Her advice to parents is – always watch your kids like a hawk – because “there are a lot of people who go to our oceans and the lifeguards are watching a lot of people at the same – though they do a amazing job, another set of eyes is vital…even if the youngster is using arm floats or a water tube, if that tube pops or a wind gust blows it away, then that child doesn’t have the assistance you were affording them – so the parent really has to stay close….I would like people also to consider going to the Red Cross website – at redcross.org – that website has a lot of safety tips for water safety swim training as well as first aid and CPR.”

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