Water rescue units from Seaside Park and Seaside Heights were busy responding to two calls for individuals in distress Tuesday evening.
But both turned out to be cases of concerned citizens thinking there was a problem that crews ultimately determined to be of no consequence.
The first call for help came at 6:45 p.m., when beachgoers thought they saw someone in distress off the H Street beach in Seaside Park, said Seaside Park Volunteer Fire Company Chief Mike Tumolo.
After launching a lifeboat, a Seaside Park water rescue crew arrived at the location of the reported emergency and quickly returned to the beach.
“It’s a lobster pot!” screamed a crew member as they arrived back at the shoreline.
Then less than an hour later, water rescue units from Seaside Park and Seaside Heights responded to the Barnegat Bay off 24th Avenue in South Seaside Park after a man walked into the Seaside Park firehouse and said that a kite boarder was drifting offshore, Tumolo said.
Both departments quickly responded and launched lifeboats and jet skis. They scoured the surrounding area, determining just before sunset that there was no emergency.
Tumolo is happy that citizens are looking out for each other.
“Even though both calls turned out to be nothing it’s great to see strangers concerned about the well being of people they don’t even know,” the chief said. “After the lifeguards are off-duty, it’s the responsibility of everyone on the shore, whether it’s the ocean side or bay side, to keep an eye on anyone that may be in danger and get help for them.”
“Complete strangers are looking out for signs of danger and calling out for help when needed. It’s just one of the many reasons why I love this area. I think it’s great that it’s so prevalent on our beaches.”