Risk for rip currents high as Hurricane Fiona moves up coast


NORTH WILDWOOD, New Jersey (WPVI) — As Hurricane Fiona is expected to pass by the New Jersey coastline, the National Weather Service has issued a high surf advisory for Friday with a risk for dangerous rip currents.

While events like Wildwood’s Irish Festival will bring people down to the shore this weekend, officials are asking people to stay out of the water.

Simon Gainey of Media and his son Tanner, 9, spent the morning boogie boarding in Avalon.

“It feels warm,” said Gainey. “It feels a little wild but not as wild as it has been as we’ve seen it this time of year. Because sometimes it can get really bad.”

Most Jersey shore beach patrols, including Avalon, are done for the season.

“Even if it doesn’t hit us directly, if it’s anywhere close to Avalon or close to South Jersey, you’ll start seeing increased height of the waves, the strength of the waves,” said Avalon Beach Patrol Lt. Tyler Wolf.

Officials urge people not to go into the ocean without lifeguards.

Wildwood’s beach patrol is also done for the year.

“When you have a huge boardwalk and amusement piers it brings people from all over the country and all over the world, and many of them are not familiar with the dangers of the ocean,” said Wildwood Beach Patrol Chief Steve Stocks.

He says in a span of eight days in early June, the Wildwoods saw three ocean drownings before lifeguards had reached full staffing levels.

He hopes – as people enjoy off-season events like this weekend’s Irish Festival – they’ll stay out of the ocean.

“We certainly don’t want to see that type of thing happen,” said Stocks “It’s really dangerous.”

While the weather is expected to be decent this weekend, it’s not supposed to be very hot. Officials are hoping that will help keep people away from the ocean.

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