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Lifeguards Warn Of Dangerous Rip Currents At Jersey Shore Ahead Of Labor Day

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Dangerous rip currents are going to be a problem for the Jersey Shore over the next few days.

CBS2's Raegan Medgie reported the current conditions are expected to last until Wednesday, and there could be more to come over Labor Day weekend.

Yellow flags have been put up along Asbury Park Beach to alert visitors if they're going into the water to be careful because a dangerous rip current could drag them out.

"It's very strong. We were out there earlier. It's very strong," said Melissa Zapata of Clifton.

Steve Panke of Tinton Falls said, "It feels like it's sucking you in, then a big wave hits you in the head and pushes you out."

Asbury Park Beach safety supervisor Joe Bongiovanni said the rip current was too strong Sunday night and it didn't get any better Monday as lifeguards spent the afternoon alerting swimmer to stay closer to shore.

"We may end up closing the water again like we did last night," he said.

Bongiovanni said only experienced swimmers would be able to deal with this kind of rip current.

"You'll start to walk in and all of a sudden it becomes difficult to walk, and that's where a lot of people make a mistake, having trouble walking and take feet off the bottom and start to swim it," he said. "Unless you're an excellent swimmer, you're not going to swim against that current."

Lifeguards said if people aren't strong swimmers, they should stay in shallow water and don't go deeper than chest high.

"You're better off with your feet in the ground," Bongiovanni said. "Dig your toes in the sand and keep walking until you get to shallow water where you can walk easier."

Nina Atkins of Garfield said her family has a system in place.

"When we go out we keep holding hands the whole time because she knows how to swim, and I know how to swim, but that's not enough," Atkins said. "You still have to be really careful. It's really, really strong today."

Lifeguards said swimmers should also swim parallel to the shoreline if they get caught in a rip current.

The rip current threat will continue for most of the week.

Lifeguards said to make sure to swim when they are on duty.

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