Nearly three dozen swimmers had to be rescued in the waters near Belmar Beach on Sunday, despite a ban on swimming due to dangerous rip currents caused by Hurricane Maria, Belmar’s mayor said.
Mayor Matt Doherty expressed frustration that parents were still allowing their children to enter the water amid extremely dangerous conditions. He said that by 5:30 p.m. Sunday, 17 people had been rescued from area waters.
“Today Belmar PD told children not to go into the water because [it’s] dangerous only to have some parents override & tell their kids to go in,” Doherty tweeted earlier in the day.
In all, at least 35 people were rescued near Belmar over the weekend, the mayor said.
Signs were posted on Rt. 35, warning flags were flying and a water rescue team was patrolling the beach, but people were still going swimming, Doherty said. Even direct warnings from police didn’t stop swimmers who hit the beaches amid an unusually warm first weekend of fall.
At least two people were rescued by the Coast Guard in Belmar on Saturday in addition to other rescues on Saturday and Sunday by Belmar Police, Belmar First Aid, and the Belmar Water Rescue Team, Doherty said.
Multiple people were also rescued near Avon-by-the-Sea and Manasquan, according to officials.
“Marine 27 out on the water again today. They have been responding to multiple water rescues,” Manasquan’s Office of Emergency Management tweeted.
Doherty said beaches will remain open Monday, but that swimming will still be prohibited. Staffing will also be lower than on Sunday, he warned.