Message From Lifeguards: Stay Out Of The Water [AUDIO]
Ok, here's a riddle for you. What do you get when you combine Hurricane Leslie and no lifeguards at the Jersey Shore area beaches? Answer? A recipe for disaster.
Officials all across the Garden State are reminding everyone that the Summer Tourism season is technically over and many of those men and women who sit on the watchtower are no longer on duty.
It seems like a common sense kind of a thing, but each year, hundreds die after getting caught in rip currents when they swim without a lifeguard present.
Seaside Park Lifeguard Captain Joe Gomulka, who's been working on the sandy shores of Jersey for over 30 years, tells us "I wouldn't go in the water alone and I'm an experienced swimmer. We have seen people do some of the craziest things. I really can't stress enough - stay out of the water."
Even the most experienced of swimmers can't deal with the swells that could hit as high as eight or nine feet high. The rip currents tend to form fast and can pull you far away from the shore making it virtually impossible to swim back.
To add more problems for our area, Hurricane Mike, which is right behind Leslie, is also going to have an effect on the waves.
Gomulka adds, "Although it's always swim at your own risk, we don't want any issues. Please don't go into the ocean. We are going to be off duty until next May. Many of the beaches are closed to swimming now and usually close after Labor Day weekend."
His final plea - "I don't want to read about you in the newspaper. There are plenty of things to do with your family. Go to the boardwalk, see a movie, but stay out of the water."
Earlier this summer, several drownings occurred at the shore when the weather was clear and there were no pending storms.