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Press Releases

Thursday, July 03, 2014
No. 42

NYC Parks Offers Tips For Beachgoers To Stay Safe This Weekend, As National Weather Service Extends Warning Of High Risk Of Rip Currents And High Surf Through Saturday

Full complement of 1,400 lifeguards now in place throughout New York City’s 14 miles of swimming beaches and 55 outdoor pools

The National Weather Service has extended its warning of a high risk of rip currents and high surf at Coney Island Beach, Rockaway Beach and points east to Fire Island through Saturday, July 5, with the strongest rip currents in the afternoon and evening hours. Rip currents are powerful channels of water flowing quickly away from shore, which occur most often at low spots or breaks in the sandbar and in the vicinity of structures such as groins, jetties and piers.

NYC Parks is posting additional signs to advise beachgoers of the current warning. All beachgoers should only swim in areas monitored by lifeguards, pay attention to flags, and obey the instructions of lifeguards at all times. Approximately 1,400 lifeguards are now in place throughout New York City’s 14 miles of swimming beaches and 55 outdoor pools. Beach lifeguards are specially trained and tested for the rigors of beach rescue.

In the event that someone becomes caught in a rip current, they should remain calm and begin to swim parallel to shore. Once away from the force of the rip current, they can swim back to the beach. No one should attempt to swim directly against a rip current - even a strong swimmer can become exhausted quickly.

No matter the weather, beachgoers should always heed the following tips:

  • Remember to watch children at all times, and no one should swim alone.

  • If you're not a strong swimmer, don't rely on floatation devices – instead, take part in our free Learn to Swim lessons, held year-round in pools throughout the city. Learn more or enroll at
  • Never chew gum or eat while swimming, and do not drink alcohol before swimming, especially if you are supervising children.
  • And while you're out in the sun, make sure to drink water, wear sunscreen and protect your eyes.

With tonight and tomorrow’s forecasted thunderstorms, we also remind all New Yorkers to report any downed trees to 311, and stay away from any downed power lines, which should be reported to the power company.

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