OCEAN CITY, Md. (WJZ) — One death and scores of rescues. That’s the impact Hurricane Cristobal is having on Ocean City.
Alex DeMetrick has more on the deadly rip current that took a teen’s life and the new rules for beachgoers.
Ocean City’s Beach Patrol has set a temporary limit on swimmers–no going out beyond knee-deep.
Even a hurricane hundreds of miles offshore can be dangerous. Large surf and rip currents started battering Ocean City on Tuesday.
“I’m actually not going all the way in the water because of it. It’s tough. Rip tides, they pull you right out there,” said Barbara Wilcox, Ocean City visitor.
“We had over 150 rescues yesterday,” said Lt. Wade Kovacs, Ocean City Beach Patrol.
And one drowning. After lifeguards went off-duty, an 18-year-old man from Virginia drowned near Ocean City’s Inlet.
Now, the standard warning–to keep your feet in the sand until the lifeguard’s in the stand–has been altered while water conditions remain dangerous.
“We restricted swimming to knee-deep water or less,” said Kovacs. When you have the increased wave activity, that can knock a person down. And if they’re in a rip current, it can pull them out quickly over their head.”
Most people going into the water are aware of the new rule.
“I’m going basically up to my knees, and that’s it. That’s all,” said Jim Wilcox, Ocean City visitor. “I don’t want to take any chances.”
And for those who aren’t following the knee-deep rule, Ocean City’s Beach Patrol is making sure they move back to shore.
Those going in are also urged to stay close to a lifeguard stand and for parents to be extra vigilant in these conditions.
“It’s really high. Really high. If you’re not watching your kids, then shame on you,”said Lane DeShield, Ocean City visitor.
Keeping limits on swimmers will remain enforced until the ocean calms down.
Dangerous surf and rip current warnings have been posted all along the mid-Atlantic coast.
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