MANASQUAN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) –New Jersey emergency management teams are taking rip currents seriously.
Manasquan acquired a new emergency response boat last year that’s already made several rescues.
Mutual aid agreements with neighboring towns are being put to use daily this summer, as lifeguards battle sand bars and rip currents.
Sea Girt lifeguards race out to help a swimmer in distress, contacting neighboring emergency response teams for back up.
With a storm off the coast churning up waves and rip currents–every hand is needed to keep swimmers safe. That’s where Manasquan’s new rescue boat, Marine-27, comes into the mix.
“We decided every evening patrols along beach to add reduce[d] amount of response time should there be a swimmer in distress,” said Manasquan Fire Department Deputy Chief Tom Schofield.
Officials say the boat is a major offshore asset for lifeguards who can paddle victims to the boat for help from emergency medical services.
For additional support, rescue swimmers on board can jump off to reach swimmers. It becomes a life-saving asset after hours, when lifeguards go off duty.
“They are able to launch immediately where Coast Guard series of steps understandable these guys can be offshore quickly,” said Sea Girt chief lifeguard Tim Harmon.
“Alarm goes off midnight on this boat 3 minutes,” said Manasquan Fire Chief Paul Samuel.
They saved a man in Spring Lake Sunday night.
“We heard swimmer in distress over the radio responded happened to be only three jetty away able to rescue and change somebody’s life,” said Schofield.
The towns are currently training EMS members and rescue swimmers to operate the boat. Soon there will be a lifeguard assigned to the boat each day.