Dorian largely misses Jersey Shore but lifeguards predict ‘deadly’ rip currents

Posted at 5:16 PM, Sep 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-06 21:37:41-04

At the Jersey Shore, the wind is whipping and the wave action is intense.

Most beaches across Ocean and Monmouth counties are closed with no swimming permitted. Hurricane Dorian is not expected to do serious damage to personal property, but it will erode beaches. The biggest threat brought on by the storm will be the swell and rip currents that can kill.

"Those will be deadly, not can be. Will be deadly," said Mike Hudson, head lifeguard in Sea Bright, N.J.

Rip currents are moving at 6-feet per second. That is faster than Michael Phelps can swim.

The good thing is with cold and rainy weather the beach has been empty.

But Saturday will be a different story. When the sun, the crowds and those raging rip currents will be out all at once. A dangerous trifecta.

"A rip current is a force of water moving out into the ocean and with it, it will take little kids, adults, strong swimmers. It doesn’t discriminate."

Making matters worse - most lifeguards have left - there’s a shortage at the jersey shore now that the summer is over. In Sea Bright, a contingency team of guards will rove the beach for struggling surfers or swimmers and likely they’ll be planting the red flag. Which means no swimming.

"It’s nature at its finest, but only gonna get worse," said woman on the boardwalk today.

Seaside Heights is planning to have it's annual wine festival on the beach tomorrow. Their big concern is the the wind — ripping on tents set up for the event.

"We had to hook them into our sands," said Mayor Anthony Vaz. "They’re built to withstand 65 mph winds just in case.