Rip currents claiming lives of swimmers along US beaches

August 04, 2017 - 12:45 pm

POINT PLEASANT BEACH, N.J. (AP) — Rip currents have caused several deaths at the New Jersey shore this summer, prompting warnings from lifeguards and weather forecasters for swimmers to be aware and keep themselves safe.

Six people died between June and July due to rip currents in New Jersey, and rip currents have killed at least 40 people along U.S. beaches so far this year.

Preliminary data from the National Weather Service show Florida leads the nation this year with 11 deaths. New Jersey and Texas had six and North Carolina had five rip current deaths by the end of July.

Forecasters say the narrow bands generated by waves, wind and the ocean floor have claimed 735 lives since 2002.

Beachgoers shouldn't swim on unguarded beaches and, if caught in a current, swim parallel to shore.

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