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Teen swimmer dies after rescue at Sandy Hook

A teenager has died after he was rescued while swimming at the Sandy Hook Gateway National Recreation Area as the surf stays rough all along the shore.

A red flsg in the sand of a beach in Harvey Cedars signifying a ban on swimming
A red flsg in the sand of a beach in Harvey Cedars signifying a ban on swimming due to rip currenets (@HCPolice via Twitter)

Spokeswoman Daphne Yun says the 17-year-old disappeared while swimming off an unguarded beach between areas C and D after 5 p.m. Tuesday. Yun says nearby lifeguards were able to rescue the boy and he was taken to a hospital, where he died early Wednesday.

His name has not been released.

As Hurricane Cristobal churns to the south of Bermuda and away from the east coast meteorologist Alan Kasper says, “we’ll get some larger swells” with 3-5 foot waves making it “life threatening” to anyone who enters the ocean creating a high risk for rip currents.

Harvery Cedars banned swimming again on Wednesday while Long Beach Township is advising caution for swimmers in the rough surf. Island Beach State Park filled up with swimmers seeking relief from near 90-degree heat early Wednesday afternoon.

The Asbury Park Press reports the volunteer ANSWER team (Area Network of Shore Water Emergency Responders) is on alert through the Labor Day Weekend for an anticipated increase in swimmers in peril.

“We’re hoping a great deal of it will be out by Friday, but the plan is to stay on alert through the weekend,” ANSWER spokesman Chip More told the Press. “We have three jet skis on standby and a boat and a direct alert link with the Coast Guard. The minute we get a call, they know about.”

Island Beach State Park will also provide full lifeguard protection throughout the long holiday and into September on the weekend.

“We’ve had an amazing summer at Island Beach State Park,” Park Manager Ray Bukowski said in a statement. “Our September operations will keep swimmers safe in the water, particularly at a time of year when rip currents can be strong, and extend our tourist season. We look forward to visitors extending their summer season with us.”

After Labor Day, the beach at Ocean Bathing Area 1 will have lifeguard service on Sept. 5-8, Sept. 12-15, Sept. 19-22 and Sept. 26-29 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Restrooms and showers at the bathing pavilion will be operating on those dates, as well. Also after Labor Day, entry cost to the park is reduced to $5 per car for New Jersey residents and $10 per car for out-of-state residents.

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