Coast Guard, Fire Department and Good Samaritan save surfer

Northeast Atlantic Coast Guard NewsNEW YORK – The Coast Guard strongly urges surfers, kayakers and paddle boarders to heed warnings to stay off the water, following a rescue of a surfer in distress near Sea Bright, N.J., today.

A Coast Guard Station Sandy Hook watchstander received the 911 call of a surfer in distress and notified Coast Guard Sector New York command center. The sector requested search and rescue support from Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City aircrews and issued an urgent marine information broadcast.

The Fire Department who was at the beach, was able to contact a fishing vessel in the area to request assistance with rescuing the surfer who was unable to paddle back to shore. The fishing vessel Changing Course’s crew saved the surfer from the water.

“We can’t stress enough to stay clear of beaches,” said Chief Petty Officer Rodger Krass, the command duty officer at Sector New York. “Now is not the time to head out onto the water to go surfing as sea conditions are extremely dangerous and are continuing to worsen as Hurricane Sandy approaches shore.”

Wave heights and currents typically increase before a storm makes landfall. Even the best swimmers can fall victim to the strong waves and rip currents caused by hurricanes.  Swimmers should stay clear of beaches until local lifeguards and law enforcement officials say the water is safe.

The Coast Guard’s search and rescue capabilities degrade as storm conditions strengthen.  This means help could be delayed.  That is why boaters and beach goers should heed to weather watches, warnings and advisories.



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