Beating The Heat At The Beach? Follow These Water Safety Tips

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Experts are sharing some water safety reminders as people head to the beach to beat the heat.

On Monday, six people had to be rescued from the water after they found themselves in trouble at Avon-by-the-Sea in New Jersey, Orchard Beach in the Bronx and Rockaway Park in Queens.

In some cases, people were swimming in areas with no lifeguards. In others, people were in areas where swimming is prohibited even when lifeguards are present, CBS2’s Elise Finch reported.

Two 21-year-old women were walking along some rocks on the Jersey Shore when one fell into the water. Her friend jumped in to help her, and moments later they both needed to be saved. There were no lifeguards on duty, so Carin Diaz rushed to help.

“I had the one girl on top of me and just kept going, ‘stay alive kid, stay with me, keep going.’ She kept screaming, but then she stopped talking and I was bringing her back into shore,” she told Finch.

One of the women was treated at a local hospital and released, and the other is in intensive care.

Avon-by-the-Sea Borough Administrator Timothy Gallagher says people should only swim where they’re allowed and only when a lifeguard is on duty unless they’re very strong swimmers.

“A lot of people think that it’s safe to swim over by the jetties or the rock groins, or whatever you want to call them, but that’s where all the rip currents are,” he said. “They feel that they can climb on the rocks or they can get out of the water, and really they can’t because the rocks are very slippery.”

Safety expert Steve Kardian says people should pay attention to posted warnings when they enter the beach and make sure someone in their group knows CPR.

“You can keep the brain alive until professionally trained personnel get on the scene. You breathing life into someone keeps the brain going, and you’ll keep their other organs functioning,” he said.

A pair of teens who witnessed Monday’s intense water rescue say watching it made them get more serious about their safety this summer.

“It was scary. We were all praying for them,” one said.

“I’ll definitely be more careful. I’ll just watch out for the currents, always swim where there’s lifeguards,” the other added. 

Here are some additional tips that safety experts are imploring people to practice as they head to the beach:

— Pay attention to beach condition warnings that will tell you what you need to know about the surf, possible rip currents, wind, possible predators and bacteria levels.

— No lifeguard means no lifeline. Beachgoers are not advised to swim in an area when lifeguards are not on duty unless you are a very strong swimmer.

— Always swim with a buddy or group as well as a flotation device that can help you out of a jam.

— Beware of hypothermia. It can occur in water below 70 degrees which is the case right now for a number of Tri-State area beaches.

One mother told Finch that she and her girls stick to the basics.

“It’s really just a matter of keeping an eye on them constantly. I mean, you can never take your eye off them, not even for one second,” she said.

“I never go in the water without an adult watching me,” her 7-year-old daughter said.

“I always try to listen to the lifeguards, even when they don’t blow the whistle at me,” her 9-year-old added.

“As the children grow, they become more risk takers and they come without their parents, so when kids become that age when they’re allowed to go to the beach my themselves they might take those risks and so i think people should be reminded,” Avon-by-the-Sea resident Pam Regan said.

The heat and humidity combined to make it feel like temperatures were in the upper 90s again Tuesday.

A thunderstorm will move in during the evening, ushering in some cooler air. Wednesday will be cooler and less humid with highs near 80. Here’s the full forecast.

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