Rip currents prompt shore swimming restrictions in the wake of Tropical Storm Fay

MARGATE CITY, N.J. (KYW Newsradio) — Tropical Storm Fay is long gone, but she’s still being felt at the Jersey Shore. Swimming restrictions are in place at several beaches this weeekend because of rip currents.

The storm certainly made its presence known down the shore. Lt. John Toland, with the Margate City Beach Patrol, said there was some beach erosion but no damage to any of the equipment.

What’s being dealt with now are rip currents, which is why swimming restrictions are in place this weekend. No one can go into the water past their waist.

"We definitely have strong currents, rip currents," said Toland. "The waves are definitely rough with the storm having just passed by. We have some wind involved as well, so we definitely want to make sure that the bathers are staying in front of the lifeguard stands, swimming between the hours when the beach patrol is on duty."

Those hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Even with lifeguards on the job, Toland stressed that beachgoers remain vigilant. "Always pay attention, keep looking in to see if the guards are giving any directions. Listen for the whistles and the signs and if you have children, make sure you are also watching your children.  I mean, lifeguards are watching many people. Your children are one of them, but make sure you are vigilant and watching your children as well."

Toland suggested if you do find yourself stuck in a rip current, to swim parallel to the beach. You don't want to try and swim straight in, because you will most likely be fighting a current stronger than you.