Beware of Sudden Drop-Off at Long Branch Beaches
There were approximately 30 rescues on Sunday from the ocean off the Long Branch beaches due to an uneven beach slope. Warning signs will be going up.
One mom, Nicole S., said she saw two young teens get swept away and into the rocks after the lifeguards went off duty. She had to scream for 911. She and some other adults helped save the girls. Complete strangers came together, putting themselves at risk.
But Nicole (who is a local and has a beach house in Long Branch) says she saw the life guards doing many rescues on Sunday including the area of Seven Presidents Park . And that she has seen teens swimming after hours with no lifeguards...and with no parents around.
Nicole says there is too much of a drop-off at the Long Branch beaches and more of a threat of rip currents because of the way the ocean floor has changed, and that even though she considers herself a decent swimmer she got sucked under, out, and tossed herself. She lost her balance because of the steep slope that you can't see or feel until you're falling in it.
A Long Branch lifeguard says that they can't do anything about the sloping (it's not allowed by the federal government) and that this uneven, sloped ocean floor extends along the Long Branch beachfront and includes Ocean Terrace, Seven Presidents and Pier Village.
As for lifeguards, there are some beaches in Long Branch that have lifeguards on duty until 7 pm, so the number one rule that everyone should respect is to not swim in the ocean anyplace that there aren't lifeguards on duty. (At least Long Branch provides some late-day guarded beaches. Many of our shore towns end life guard service by 5 pm)
Beach flags were flying green over the holiday weekend, even in many of the areas with the severe sloping and drop-off.Even with those slopes/drop-offs. Nicole was concerned enough to alert local and state officials, and has received a message saying that the mayor's office will be ordering warning signs that say "Sudden Drop-Off; Be Careful! The bottom drops off abruptly. You could injure yourself or drown. when in doubt, don't go out!"
Nicole is hoping the signs will be placed on the beach near the ocean water line at the dangerous areas...and not at the beach entrance where no one really pays much attention to the signs.
Do you know of a beach area where the ocean is particularly rough/dangerous?