Moderate risk for rip currents as Tropical Storm Claudette moves past the Jersey shore

MARGATE, New Jersey (WPVI) -- As Tropical Storm Claudette moves into the waters off the Northeast, the Jersey shore will experience a moderate risk for rip currents.

On Monday, swimmers enjoyed the ocean in Margate while keeping safety in mind.

"Stay near the lifeguards, pay attention to if the whistle blows," said Beverly Squillaro of Lower Gwynedd, Pa. She was watching over her grandchildren as they played in the water.

Beach patrol officials say that's good advice, this week especially.

"We do expect an increase in wave activity or rip current activity," said Margate Beach Patrol Captain Chuck LaBarre.

EMBED More News Videos

Meteorologist Brittany Boyer shows you how to avoid rip currents and stay safe.

Tropical Storm Claudette, after pummeling parts of the Gulf Coast and soaking the southeast, is expected to move northeast and out to sea.

But the storm could still stir up large waves and rip currents Monday and Tuesday at the Jersey Shore.

Some swimmers said Monday they could already sense that the ocean had changed.

"Yesterday was hotter. Today it's colder and rougher," said Enrico Sellecchia of Huntington Valley, Pa.

"They're really big, I really have to jump high!" said 7-year-old Stella Sellecchia.

Beach patrol officials are trained to look for rip currents and will move the guard stands away from them if possible.

It's yet another reason why they encourage people to swim near the guard stands when they're on duty.

Lifeguards may tell swimmers to stay waist-deep or knee-deep, and are always on the lookout for swimmers caught in a rip current.

"It develops a trough in the sand. It's discolored water, less wave action but it will pull you out beyond the surf. Stay calm, stay afloat," said LaBarre.

He says even surfers need to be careful.

While storms often mean great waves, they may only allow experienced surfers in the water if conditions are too rough.
Copyright © 2022 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.