Belmar lifeguard’s advice for dealing with rip currents
The rip currents ran rampant at the Jersey shore Wednesday. Lifeguards in Manasquan beach rescued 14 people. In Belmar, the lifeguards were only letting swimmers get their ankles wet. So far rip currents have claimed the lives of six people this summer, two in Belmar. My longtime friend Pat Ciriello, who's a Belmar lifeguard, called in to talk about how awful the rips are and how risky it is for people to challenge their directives.
"It's harder than they think because you look out at the ocean and think 'I can manage that,' but to the most average swimmer, it's above them. It really is."
So how do you handle a rip current if you're caught in one?
"We tell them all the time the best thing to do is when you notice that you're not making headway, you're not going in the direction you want to, most likely you are in this rip, which is too high surfaces of water on your right or on your left. The water that is between those two is moving much quicker, normally they're not that wide but they could be."
"So we tell them, turn parallel to the shore, try to swim sideways out of it, rather than spend all you energy swimming against it, this way you swim yourself out of it, then when you feel that you're no longer being pulled against it, then you can make your way back to the shore."
We also touched on the beach spreading that's going on in Belmar and how it effects the lifeguards doing their jobs. You may find it funny. Check it out in the video above!
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