The final weekend of spring has come and gone as summer officially arrives Wednesday at 12:24AM while most of us are still sleeping.

On Wednesday when we experience the summer solstice we’ll enjoy the most daylight of the calendar year, 15 hours worth.

As tragic as they are, recent drownings in Belmar and Atlantic City are made more tragic because they were easily avoidable. Three teenagers lost their lives, another remains in critical condition and several others were lucky to have been rescued last week with the common denominator being they were all swimming at times lifeguards were not on duty.

Despite signs warning them not to swim on unguarded beaches and despite all we hear and read about rip currents people risk their lives and those of others by swimming when and where they should not.  I know many will point the finger at some shore towns for not putting on lifeguards earlier but it’s not always practical and in the case of the teens who died in Atlantic City occurred after guards had left for the day.

The true responsibility rests with those who ignore what many of us know.  While it may look inviting the ocean can be a very dangerous place.  Even the best swimmers can get caught in a rip and most have no idea until they’ve been swept out to sea.

We can only hope that these three drownings are the last we hear about in New Jersey but that might be overly optimistic thinking. After all it’s not even summer yet.

The school year in the shore area will end for everyone this week although some are already out for summer recess.The final high school graduations will take place throughout the week and I hope the weather cooperates especially for those planning outdoor ceremonies.




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