Water temperatures are warmer this month than they have been in the past three Junes. For Senior Lifeguard Daniel Desantos, this means that him and all other lifeguards need to aware of more people visiting the shore and getting into the water.
“I’ve worked as a lifeguard at Seaside for seven years. I’ve learned that we always have to be alert, whether the water is calm like today or if it is hurricane like,” Desantos said.
After the loss of life at and last week, lifeguards have been on high alert watching out for rip currents and swimmers who may be trapped in them.
One of the biggest tips that every lifeguard spoke of was the same: Only go swimming when lifeguards are on duty.
However, at 6 p.m. lifeguards at Seaside Park go off-duty and at 7 p.m., lifeguards in Seaside Heights go off-duty. As soon as the lifeguards are off the beach, swimmers are back in the ocean, and some even go as far out as roughly 75 feet.
If you find yourself caught in a rip current, the United States Lifesaving Association says to follow a number of steps to escape:
- Yell for help immediately.
- Don’t swim against the rip current—it will just tire you out.
- Escape the rip current by swimming parallel to the beach until you are free.
- If you are unable to swim out of the rip current, float or calmly tread water.
- When out of the current, swim toward the shore at an angle away from the rip current.
“Swim in front of a lifeguard. Ask questions. If you get stuck, swim parallel, or go out past the break and wait for help,” Desantos said. “Don’t panic.”