The temperature is forecast to rise to more seasonably warm levels this week, just shy of 80 degrees, but the sunshine and mild weather is causing worry from some officials given the fact that the National Weather Service is forecasting strong rip currents and heavy surf this week.
Lavallette’s borough council on Monday night authorized officials to keep an on-call water rescue team in place. Last week, a man drowned while swimming off a Lavallette beach. The on-call lifeguards are not on patrol and beaches are not considered to be guarded; they respond only to emergency calls.
The high surf warning is in effect through Tuesday morning and the rip current advisory remains in effect through Tuesday night. The warning calls for large breaking waves of 5 to 8 feet as well as “dangerous swimming and surfing conditions” plus localized beach erosion.
The rip current advisory said “even the best swimmers” can be swept into deeper water given the strong currents, which have been churned up by Hurricane Teddy which is far offshore.
“Inexperienced swimmers should remain out of the water due to dangerous surf conditions,” the advisory said. “Entering the surf is discouraged.”
The NWS also advised what to do if one finds themselves caught in a rip.
“If caught in a rip current, relax and float. Do not swim against the current,” the advisory said. “If possible, swim in a direction following the shoreline. If unable to escape, face the shore and call or wave for help.”