Lack of swimming skills, not rip currents, causing most New Jersey drownings


“Stupidity and inexperience,” not rip currents, are the primary factors in most New Jersey drownings, according to experts.

There have been at least 20 drownings in New Jersey this year. But despite a number of news accounts blaming rip currents for many of the deaths, the real cause is often something more sinister: a lack of common sense.

More often than not, the victims are non-swimmers and poor swimmers who literally get in over their heads, experts say.

“Overwhelmingly, drownings happen on unguarded beaches, after dark or when swimming alone,” said Jim Eberwine, a retired National Weather Service meteorologist with expertise in coastal weather and tides, and drownings.

Read Philly Voice

Photo by Garden State Hiker

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Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

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