Enhanced threat of rip currents through at least Sunday

     Rough conditions off South Seaside Park in early August 2015. (Photo: Justin Auciello/for NewsWorks)

    Rough conditions off South Seaside Park in early August 2015. (Photo: Justin Auciello/for NewsWorks)

    An onshore flow will make swimming treacherous through most of the weekend, prompting forecasters to warn about an enhanced risk of rip current development. 

    The threat begins today due to a developing and increasing northeast and east wind and will last through at least Sunday, according to a bulletin from the National Weather Service office in Mount Holly, NJ.

    “As of now, in-house guidance is suggesting a solid moderate — possibly nearing high — [rip current risk] for Saturday,” the bulletin states, adding that while the risk should decrease slightly Sunday, “it may still be moderate.”

    Lifeguards at the Jersey Shore rescued hundreds of swimmers from powerful rip currents last weekend. JSHN captured footage of a dramatic rescue off Midway Beach last Saturday. 

    According to NOAA, here’s how to identify a rip current: 

    A channel of churning, choppy water.
    An area having a notable difference in water color.
    A line of foam, seaweed, or debris moving steadily seaward.
    A break in the incoming wave pattern.

    If caught in a rip current, NOAA advises:

    Stay calm.
    Don’t fight the current.
    Escape the current by swimming in a direction following the shoreline. When free of the current, swim at an angle—away from the current—toward shore.
    If you are unable to escape by swimming, float or tread water. When the current weakens, swim at an angle away from the current toward shore.
    If at any time you feel you will be unable to reach shore, draw attention to yourself: face the shore, call or wave for help.

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