POINT PLEASANT BEACH — Rescue crews are searching the rough waters off the Jersey Shore for a female swimmer who went missing early Sunday.

The first call came into Point Pleasant Beach Police around 2:15 a.m, for a swimmer in trouble in the water, police said.

Crews from the US Coast Guard, the State Police Marine Division and Point Pleasant Fire Department all began a search along with a dive team.

The Coast Guard reported the missing person as a 24-year-old white woman with brown hair who was swimming with a friend.

The woman was was not wearing a bathing suit or any clothes when she went into the water with a man, according to ABC 7 Eyewitness News, which also reported several articles of clothing were found on the beach.

Red flags are flying at ocean beaches up-and-down the Jersey Shore, indicating a high risk of rip currents.

"Despite the beautiful weather forecast — sunny and warm, with low humidity — it would be a wise idea to stick to the sand and stay out of the downright dangerous ocean waves Sunday," New Jersey 101.5 Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow said. "As our powerful coastal storm system continues to kick out to sea, it's still pushing a lot of water toward the Jersey Shore. Six to eight-foot waves will batter the beaches Sunday, with conditions improving very slowly as the day progresses."

The power of the rip current was demonstrated earlier this summer when four teens died at beaches in Belmar and Atlantic City

The National Weather Service says you can spot a potential rip current by watching for these factors:

  • Channel of churning, choppy water
  • Area having a notable difference in water color
  • Line of foam, seaweed, or debris moving steadily seaward
  • Break in the incoming wave pattern
  • One, all or none the clues may be visible.

If you find yourself caught in a rip current, the NWS has some advice to follow:

  • Don’t fight the current. It’s a natural treadmill that travels an average speed of 1-2 feet per second, but has been measured as fast as 8 feet per second—faster than an Olympic swimmer.
  • Relax and float to conserve energy. Staying calm may save your life.
  • Do NOT try to swim directly into to shore. Swim parallel to the shoreline until you escape the current’s pull. When free from the pull of the current, swim at an angle away from the current toward shore.
  • If you feel you can’t reach shore, relax, face the shore, and call or wave for help. Remember: Wave and yell; swim parallel to the beach.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.

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