LI lifeguards on high alert for rip current risk

Monday's mostly sunny skies brought many beachgoers out to Long Island's shores, but lifeguards were on high alert due to the high risk of rip

The National Weather Service says there is a high risk of rip currents at local ocean beaches today.

The National Weather Service says there is a high risk of rip currents at local ocean beaches today. (6/29/15)

JONES BEACH - Monday's mostly sunny skies brought many beachgoers out to Long Island's shores, but lifeguards were on high alert due to the high risk of rip currents.

The National Weather Service issued a notice on Monday for the South Shore about the high risk of rip currents. Whistles were sounding at Jones Beach as the lifeguards studied the water for signs of trouble.

Syosset mom Lynann Koerber knows the danger all too well. She watched last year as eight lifeguards rescued her teen daughter from a rip current. "She said it just pulled her under and she couldn't catch her breath. Really scary," Koerber recalls.

Lifeguards and experts advise swimmers who find themselves caught in rip currents to remain calm and to swim parallel to the shoreline until they make it out of the current. Trying to swim against a rip current can quickly lead to fatigue.

Mal McGarry, Hempstead Town Parks Department's aquatic coordinator, likened the technique to getting off an exercise machine. "Similar to a treadmill that won't shut off, you get to the side and out of danger.  Same thing with a rip current. Swim to the side and gradually make your way back to the beach."

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