Rip currents a danger Monday at New Jersey beaches
The threat of rip currents will remain along the Jersey Shore on Monday after a weekend of numerous water rescues.
Crowds flocked to Jersey Shore beaches on Saturday and Sunday as temperatures hit the 80s under sunny skies. The Seaside Park Fire Department on their Twitter account said they made three rescues within two hours on Sunday. No lifeguards were on duty.
Seaside Heights Mayor Tony Vaz compared crowds and conditions to a summer weekend and said rip currents were a concern because the lifeguards don't go on duty until Memorial Day weekend.
"So they swim at their own risk. You can talk until you're blue in the face and some people are going to go out. We had several rescues. Our fire company, which is also our rescue squad, also went to other towns to help them. The rip tide is bad," Vaz told New Jersey 101.5.
Besides no lifeguards, the mayor had another reason to stay out of the water: It's cold!
"I don't care if it's 68 or not. It's freezing," Vaz said.
Temperatures should be in the 60s on Monday at the shore, which means fewer beach goers.
"The formation of rip currents along the Jersey Shore are largely dictated by wind direction. Today's winds will shift from the northeast to the southeast. All blowing off the ocean. And all contributing to the rough surf and elevated risk of rip formation," New Jersey 101.5 Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow said.
Surf conditions should calm by Tuesday and especially Wednesday when temperatures go back into the 90s for at least one day.
The National Weather Service advises if you do get caught in a rip current:
- Remain calm
- Don't fight the current
- Think of a rip current like a treadmill you can't turn off. You want to step to the side.
- Swim across the current in a direction following the shoreline
- When out of the current swim and angle away from the current and toward shore.
- If you can’t escape the rip try to float, or calmly tread water. Rip current
strength eventually subsides offshore. When it does, swim toward shore.
- If at any time you feel you will be unable to reach shore, draw atten-
tion to yourself: face the shore, wave your arms, and yell for help.