Shore goers cautious of rip currents

July 15, 2008 3:58:30 PM PDT
Hurricane Bertha is on the move, and that means better news for the rip currents at the Jersey Shore.In Atlantic City, lifeguards had to make 57 rescues this weekend because of the rip currents; they normally make 10 in a weekend.

The Ocean City Beach Patrol made 91 saves and Sea Isle City guards rescued 70.

Green flags were up at the shore and that meant it was a go for swimming. This was good news after a wild few days when dangerous rip tides caused several drownings and prompted hundreds of rescues up and down the coast.

62-year-old Steve Grens was one of those who had to be saved by lifeguards in Ship Bottom.

"It happens very fast as soon as you get in the water. You can't even try to get out of the water and the currents pull you back in the water," Grens said.

Today, at the 15th Street beach in Ship Bottom, moms were still conscious of the rip tides and keeping a tight rein on their young swimmers.

"We're just having the kids stay close to us, no further than their knees because the waves will come in and knock them down and pull them out," Daniela Mariano of Buffalo, New York said.

One thing that kept some people out of the water today was the bone-chilling temperature of just 58 degrees.

As the storm that churned up the Atlantic slowly moves away, conditions are calmer, but lifeguards are still on alert for rip tides and some big waves expected over the next couple days.

"As it spins off, we're going to get a lot of residuals of that as far as the wave activity," Captain Keith Stokes said.

So while the green flags are up, everyone is still urged to be careful when they swim.