The beaches of Seaside Heights were shut down Sunday night after strong rip currents nearly drowned several swimmers, including a cop who tried to rescue two of them, the shore town's police chief said.
Seaside Heights Police Chief Tommy Boyd told NBC 4 New York that he locked the boardwalk gates in order to save lives.
Lifeguards were not on duty Sunday. The season ended with Labor Day weekend.
Boyd said two swimmers were in distress mid-afternoon when one of his officers dived into the ocean to try to save them.
Weighed down by his uniform, that officer had to be rescued as well.
A couple of hours later, the chief said some boogie boarders became distressed.
After their rescue by firefighters, Boyd closed all of Seaside Heights' beaches. He said he put an officer on patrol in an ATV to make sure no one went on to the sand of the popular seaside community.
The rip current threat continues into Monday, forecasters say. Wave heights of three to five feet are possible as Tropical Storm Leslie continues to churn the ocean.