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Island Beach State Park Keeping Eye on Leslie's Surf Impact

Whether swimming will be permitted will be determined based on day's conditions, official says

Whether or not beachgoers will be allowed to swim this weekend at Island Beach State Park will depend on the surf conditions, according to a park official.

With warnings of dangerous rip currents triggered by Hurricane Leslie already being posted in Florida, concerns about rip currents in the Garden State have people taking notice.

Park Area Supervisor Ray Bukowski said it's difficult to predict right now whether swimming will allowed this weekend, which is the last weekend that lifeguards will be on duty at the park.

"As we have all summer, we adapt based on changing conditions," Bukowski said. "There were days where we started with a yellow caution flag, and went to green, and other days where we had to close swimming."

If swimming is allowed, only the first swimming beach will be open. Beach 2 will be closed regardless, Bukowski said, due to a reduced number of lifeguards available. With school back in session and students away at college, the pool of available guards is smaller, he said.

"We have to constrain the area we are watching as a result," he said.

Bukowski said the park spent more on lifeguards this summer than it has previously.

"It was money well spent," he said, because while there were a number of serious incidents, not one person died, and he noted he is very pleased to be able to say that.

So while Hurricane Leslie ever-so-slowly makes her way north -- the hurricane was moving at 2 mph as of the 11 a.m. report from the National Hurricane Center of the National Weather Service -- beachgoers will be left to wait and see how significantly she will affect the surf on Saturday.

Steve Domanski September 07, 2012 at 11:29 AM
My family and I seen a few rescues at IBSP this year.The Life Guards there were GREAT !!! NJ should be proud of this group of men and women who to say the very least,made me and my family feel very safe while at IBSP (DAILY) "Thank You"
1guy September 07, 2012 at 12:04 PM
I agree Steve, my wife and I were at IBSP also and the Lifeguards did a great job of keeping everyone safe, and they were also very friendly and helpfull to the beach goers. Thank you to all of them and keep up the good work.

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