Long Branch beaches temporarily closed off Sunday due to large crowds
Friday was literally a washout and Saturday the surf was still pretty rough despite some hot and sunny weather, so Sunday beachgoers went out to the sand to enjoy a day in the sun.
In Long Branch, too many people gathered all at once and the beach patrol and police department had to close off access to the sand for a brief period of time.
There were no other issues that arose which caused the beach to close other than overcrowding, Long Branch Police Chief Jason Roebuck told Townsquare Media News on Monday morning.
"Yesterday it was extremely crowded," Roebuck said.
They keep an eye out for overcrowding and have asked people to go to smaller beaches on occasion to avoid large gatherings.
Roebuck said they assisted with the Long Branch Beach Patrol in helping with the large crowds on Sunday.
Long Branch Beach Manager Dan George tells Townsquare Media News that the closing of beaches began at 11:00 am on Sunday when they shut down the entrances to the beach between Chelsea Avenue and Laird Street.
"Then we started to move them down south," George said. "By 12:00 we were closed from Seaview Avenue to Morris Avenue."
The North End beach was closed by 1:00 and everything but the South End by 1:30, George explained.
By 3:00 pm, people were still waiting to get onto the beach even though most of them were closed.
George said at that point they were letting one group onto the beach at a time after one group left the beach.
This is not the first time the beaches have been closed this year in Long Branch.
"We've probably closed about a dozen times this year," George said.
One of the reasons he feels there was some crowding Sunday was because of Tropical Storm Fay on Friday which also eroded the beaches.
Sunday was "one of our busiest days but we had people perfectly spread out," George said. "Our goal has been from the beginning to disperse people down the entire beach. There's no question we're socially distant on the beach, blankets are six feet from each other those blankets are six feet from each other on the beach."
George also said they have 30 lifeguard stands across the beaches in Long Branch.
NJ Advance Media, who was first to report the story, said that people were putting their chairs on the boardwalk and sitting because the beach was too crowded.
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