Beachgoers Worry That Cristobal Could Wash Out Labor Day Plans As Rip Current Risk Remains High
TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The rip current risk remains high along the coast in parts of New York and New Jersey as Hurricane Crisobal whips up waves.
The National Weather Service says long period swells associated with Cristobal will continue to churn the ocean into Thursday evening.
A high surf advisory is also in effect until 2 a.m. Friday for beaches in Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island.
As CBS 2’s Tracee Carrasco reported, some people were worried that their Labor Day weekend plans would be a wash.
“It would put a damper on my day tomorrow if I couldn’t get to swim in the ocean,” Judy Woods said.
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Because of rough surf conditions, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation announced swimming was prohibited at Jones Beach, Robert Moses and Hither Hills state parks on Long Island, on Thursday.
“As soon as the lifeguards got on duty, they saw the surf conditions and they immediately red-flagged the beaches,” said George Gorman, deputy regional director of the New York State office of parks.
There was extensive flooding at all three locations, Gorman said.
“The water is so high, it’s almost close to the parking lot, it’s amazing,” one woman at Field 6 in Jones Beach said. “I’ve never seen it this high in my entire life. I’ve lived here on Long Island all my life and I was amazed when I came here.”
“This is something you would see after a hurricane,” another woman said. “This is pretty high. Every field you notice, you see people are sitting very far back, close to the boardwalk. It’s like a lake.”
In Long Beach, Chopper 2 caught surfers taking advantage of the big waves, but the currents are so strong lifeguards are not letting swimmers in the water.
“We made a decision about 8 o’clock that we’re gonna close,” Paul Gillespie, chief of Long Beach lifeguards told CBS 2’s Andrea Grymes.
In New Jersey, there have been scores of rescues over the past few days in Long Branch.
“About 12 rescues. The previous day, we had 41 rescues with the green flag out and the day before that we had 35 rescues,” Lifeguard Supervisor Mike Tomano told WCBS 880’s Sean Adams.
Lifeguards say it’s important to pay attention to the warnings.
“Listen to whatever the lifeguards have posted, if they say no swimming, don’t try to go in,” Lt. Lifeguard Matt Siciliano said. “I’ve been doing it a long time so when we say it’s not safe, it’s not safe.”
“The yellow flag is a caution flag and red flag means no swimming, it’s too dangerous to swim,” said Lifeguard Buzz Ciprut.
Some beachgoers in Long Beach were not happy about conditions along the coast.
“It’s kind of boring, the beach. That’s the whole point of going to the beach, to swim,” Anthony Zaino said.
Gillespie offered a reminder that the closures were in the swimmers’ best interests.
“You get caught in a rip current, especially if you step in a hole out there, which there are a lot of holes in the ocean, you get sucked out,” he said.
Tomano’s advice is to always swim near a lifeguard. If you are caught in a rip current, don’t panic and don’t struggle — float and let it take you. When it releases, swim parallel to shore and slowly work your way back.
Lifeguards hoped to avoid the type of scene that took place in Belmar on Thursday night, when three people had to be rescued from a rip current.
“I guess they know what they are talking about, but it still kills us not to be able to go swimming,” Chris Scanlon said.
The only ones who were allowed in the water at Long Beach were surfers and boogie boarders with fins. With swells as high as 8-ft conditions were prime to ride the waves.
“We’ve got a solid north, northwest wind, and a beautiful 4-ft swell coming it. It’s awesome,” Greg Kourie said.
Meanwhile, family members on Thursday will hold a funeral for the 17-year-old who died after he was rescued from the surf at an unguarded beach at Sandy Hook.
Relatives tell the Home News Tribune Sarmard Rizvi was knocked down by a wave on Tuesday. Ali Rizvi says it was a heartbreaking scene once his cousin slipped.
Dozens of lifeguards recovered the South Plainfield resident. But he died at a hospital on Wednesday.
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