When a string of water-related injuries sent several New Jersey beach-goers to the emergency room last month, hospital officials sent out a reminder about water safety.
This week, beach patrol is again worried about rough water.
Bigger waves and stronger currents have created a dicey shore break in recent days, said Tom Mullineaux, chief of the Ocean City Beach Patrol.
“Some of the folks, especially the inexperienced folks, are not aware that these waves can drive you downwards and obviously down into the sand and that’s when we have our problems,” Mullineaux said.
Lifeguards are directing people to safer stretches of beach and pulling hot-rod boogie boarders out of the water to review precautions.
Hospital staffers cared for 25 water- or beach-related injuries this summer, eight in the last week of July, according to Monica Titus, director of the AtlantiCare Regional Trauma Center.
“They are body surfing or surfing, swimming or diving, and these patients are coming in not only with spinal cord injuries, but chest injuries and abdominal injuries,” Titus said.
Many injuries can be prevented.
“Listen to the lifeguards, swim only where there are lifeguards, check the water conditions, the wave conditions, and avoid big rough waves,” Titus said.
Perhaps beach traffic slowed this month, but the reminders may working. The hospital reports just one water-related injury in August.