Rip current warning

September 3, 2008 4:31:00 PM PDT
The surf is rough and rip currents are getting stronger, making a dip in the ocean a potentially dangerous adventure. "It was dragging me in, it seemed like it had a nasty undertow," said Joey Branconi of Northeast Philadelphia.

Since Labor Day Atlantic City has lost 100 of its 165 lifeguards, so just 14 of its 43 beaches are guarded.

Swimming without the presence of lifeguards is always risky, but it's especially so when storms are whipping up the seas.

"It's really strong! I understand why there's a riptide warning, because I could feel the pull," said Daniel Teplitski of Northeast Philadelphia.

"It may look inviting and it may look safe, but if people don't know what a rip current is when they get in one, it can be a fatality," said Rod Aluise of the Atlantic City Beach Patrol.

Mother Nature may be causing one set of problems but there were man-made ones as well Wednesday.

100 unusued packaged syringes were found under a steel pier at 7:30 this morning. The beaches in Atlantic City were not closed, because officials were certain the syringes were placed there, and that they did not wash up from the ocean.

It was a different story in Brigantine, where one syringe, some gauze pads and a medical ID tag were found on the 34th Street Beach. The discovery prompted officials there to close all beaches. "We decided to pull everybody back and keep them off the beach until we have a better handle on what's going on," said Sgt. Jim Bennett of the Brigantine Police.

The beaches re-opened at 2:30 p.m.

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