Firefighters rescue swimmer caught in rip current off Island Beach State Park

Seaside Park Volunteer Fire Company

(Seaside Park Volunteer Fire Company/Facebook)

Firefighters on Wednesday rescued a swimmer who was caught in a rip current off Island Beach State Park, officials said.

A water rescue unit from the Seaside Park Volunteer Fire Company responded to the New Jersey state park on a report of a teenage swimmer in distress.

Arriving rescue swimmers spotted the male, who was pulled offshore by the rip current. The National Weather Service advised of a “low risk” of rip current development on Wednesday.

Swimming is currently prohibited in Island Beach State Park, according to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. An email requesting comment from state officials was not immediately returned.

Fire officials say the teenager, who was not identified due to his age, was transported to Community Medical Center in Toms River for evaluation. His condition was not disclosed.

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:

  • 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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