What to Know
- Three people drowned at various points off the Jersey Shore over the weekend amid rough surf conditions from Hurricane Maria
- Dozens more had to be rescued, despite warnings from local officials to avoid the water
- Even direct warnings from police didn’t stop swimmers who hit the beaches amid an unusually warm first weekend of fall
Three swimmers died in the waters off the Jersey Shore and three dozen others had to be rescued over the weekend, despite authorities warning people to avoid the ocean due to dangerous rip currents caused by Hurricane Maria.
A 44-year-old woman from Seaside Park died after she was pulled from the water at O Street Beach, which is closed for the season and thus has no lifeguards, Sunday afternoon. Officials said "notifications were made to not go into the water." A 60-year-old man drowned off Point Pleasant Beach two hours earlier. Another person died near Long Branch.
At least 35 people had to be rescued from waters near Belmar on Saturday and Sunday, officials said. Multiple people were also rescued near Avon-by-the-Sea and Manasquan, according to officials. None of those dozens died, but they all were in the water despite flagrant warnings from local and state officials about swimming in the rough surf.
Signs were posted on Route 35, warning flags were flying and a water rescue team was patrolling the beach in Belmar, but people were still going swimming, said Mayor Matt Doherty. Even direct warnings from police didn’t stop swimmers who hit the beaches amid an unusually warm first weekend of fall, Doherty said.
Doherty expressed frustration that parents were still allowing their children to enter the water amid extremely dangerous conditions.
Beaches were open Monday, he said, but swimming was prohibited.