By Chris Sheldon
Eight people were rescued on Tuesday from dangerous rip currents by Spring Lake Police officers at two borough beaches, authorities said.
Police were called to the Sussex Avenue beach at 2:48 p.m. and saw five swimmers struggling to get back to shore, officials said. Spring Lake Police Patrolmen Joseph Liddy and James Heine, as well as Chief Edward Kerr, entered the water to reach them, the department said in a release.
Four of the swimmers were quickly brought back to the shore while the other was rescued several minutes later as the officers fought the rip current with the help of Patrolman Matthew Bogdan and an off-duty lifeguard, police said. The swimmers were all treated on the scene by the Spring Lake First Aid Squad and released.
A little over an hour later, officers were called to the Passaic Avenue beach, which is three blocks north, for a report of more swimmers in distress, officials said. All three swimmers were past the jetty.
Liddy, along with Sergeants Sean Duggan and Christopher Kucinski, got into the water and were able to bring the three swimmers back to shore with help of a good Samaritan surfer and an off-duty lifeguard, the department said. They were all treated on the scene by the Spring Lake First Aid Squad. One was transported to Jersey Shore University Medical Center for further treatment.
It was unclear if that person was still in the hospital.
“Today’s outcome would have been tragic without the actions of these first responders,” police said in a statement. “It is extremely dangerous to swim in unprotected waters, especially with the rough conditions we are currently experiencing. Please stay out of the ocean unless you are a strong swimmer.”
Rip currents have been present along the Jersey Shore for the last few weeks as the ocean has been churned up by offshore storms.
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