Do New Jersey Lifeguards Have To Attempt A Rescue During A Shark Attack?
Shark attacks have been on the rise over the last few months. It almost feels like new shark encounters are being reported on daily.
It got me thinking: What are Jersey Shore lifeguards trained to do in the event of a shark attack?
Thank you to Ortley Beach lifeguard, Brian Cerbone, for the information on this delicate topic.
Fun Fact: I heard the reason there are so many more shark attacks these days is because the ocean is getting cleaner.
This means the water is clearer and therefore, sharks are spotting humans more often as they come closer to shore.
Hm, I wonder if it is true!
What are Jersey Shore lifeguards trained to do during a shark attack?
Unfortunately, we would have to sit back until it is safe to go in. We are trained to not put ourselves in a dangerous spot.
Is there anything New Jersey lifeguards could do without putting yourselves at risk?
The one thing we would be able to do is to take a surf boat out to try and get in-between the shark and the person. But you are not going to put another lifeguard or person in harms way unfortunately.
How do you know when it is safe to go back in the water after a shark attack?
We'll have binoculars out tracking the shark and we communicate with other lifeguard stands via radio. We communicate its location and which direction it is traveling until the coast is all clear. However, the shark usually comes and goes quicker than we can get out in the water.
What are the warning signs the public should look out for?
We have a flag system and the color purple signifies the presence of marine life that is hazardous. But once again, by the time we run that up the flag pole it is probably already gone.
In most cases, we will typically pull swimmers out of the water and say it is for safety reasons. We track the shark as it leaves and then we allow swimmers to go back in the water once we believe it is safe.
Any final words, Brian?
Be safe out there and always listen to the lifeguards!
The lifeguards are there to keep you safe but I do think that everything Brian said did make sense. How can lifeguards keep you safe if they themselves are put in danger?
Be aware of your surroundings and if you are worried, try only going in the water when you have a buddy to go with you. That way you know someone else always has eyes on you at all times.
Weird question: Would you ever get a shark for a pet? Or would you prefer something more exotic?