141 people rescued along Ocean City beaches Monday

For The Baltimore Sun

Ocean City Beach Patrol lifeguards rescued 141 people Monday amid rip currents and rough surf.

“Today it’s calmed down a little bit,” Beach Patrol Lt. Ward Kovacs said Tuesday. “The surf was a little rougher and the rip currents were pulling harder, and there were more of them.”

None of the 141 people rescued needed medical attention. It was a busy day, but not a record, Kovacs said: Lifeguards in Ocean City rescued 215 people the Friday before Memorial Day.

“Now that all the schools have all let out, we have a lot of families and children, and a lot of the rescues we had yesterday were children on boogie boards,” Kovacs said Tuesday.

It’s not likely that yesterday’s conditions were related to Tropical Storm Chris, which as of 11 a.m. Tuesday was 200 miles off the North Carolina coast and moving northeast. The storm is expected to stay offshore, but swimmers and surfers should still keep conditions in mind as it keeps moving north, Kovacs said.

Even with smoother conditions, beachgoers should make sure there’s a lifeguard on duty before going into the water, Kovacs said.

Swimmers who get caught in a rip current should remember the acronym RIP, Kovacs said: Relax, call out ‘I need help,’ and keep swimming parallel to the shore.

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