OCEAN CITY, Md.- Strong rip currents on Delmarva beaches have some forecasters encouraging swimmers and surfers to stay out of the water.
Forecasters said on Monday that wave heights this week are expected to reach 3 to 5 feet. Some beach locations have no or very little lifeguard presence. Jennifer Cortazzo, who was vacationing in Ocean City, said the waves caught her by surprise. "It was pretty scary," said Cortazzo.
Cortazzo said strong waves in Ocean City got the best of her.
"I felt like I didn't have control and I was panicking and my hands were shaking. It's still a little shaky and that was awhile ago," said Cortazzo. She said the waves were so powerful that she was pulled out even further.
Her brother, Frank had to rescue her. He said he witnessed a dramatic rescue on Sunday.
"Thank God he got out OK," said Frank Cortazzo. He noted that even experienced swimmers can be taken advantage of in strong waves.
"You never should turn your back on the ocean because in a split second you can definitely get a severe injury," he said.
Lt. Ward Kovacs with the Ocean City Beach Patrol said there were 126 water rescues last week.
"In the summer we'll have a full staff of 92 chairs out. Today we have 28 chairs so that gives you an idea of how far they are apart," Kovacs said.
Monica Bland, of Pasadena, said the rip current warning did not deter her and her family from going to the beach.
"It's good that it's just not my husband and myself, but my mother and my stepdad because now we have more eyes on the kids. They know to go in pairs. I won't let one of them go too far," Bland said.
Kovacs said the best advice he can give is, "Keep your feet in the sand until the lifeguard is in the stand."
Saturday, May 18 2013 10:19 AM EDT2013-05-18 14:19:20 GMT
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