Don’t turn your back on the ocean, study confirms

    Rip currents are a constant danger at the Jersey Shore, but there’s another risk that sometimes gets overlooked: injuries from waves.

    An ongoing University of Delaware study has found that during the summer of 2014, there were 280 injuries over 116 sample days along the Delaware coast.

    Of the 280, 32 were serious, including cervical fractures and spinal cord injuries, and one was a fatality.

    According to the study, men were twice as likely to be injured compared to women, and tourists were six times more likely to suffer an injury than local beachgoers.

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    Wading was the dominate injury activity (44% of all incidents) followed by body surfing (20%) and body boarding (17%).

    The highest injury rates were associated with moderate wave height with lower injury rates for both smaller and larger waves.

    The National Weather Service office in Mount Holly on Tuesday highlighted this risk, in addition to the seriousness of rip currents and not swimming alone, in a forecast discussion.

    The forecasters offered wise advice to swimmers.

    “The ocean is a playland but the power of water needs respect,” forecasters Walter Drag and Raymond Kruzdio wrote.

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