As New Yorkers hit the beach to beat the heat, there may be more dangers waiting in the water.
New York’s beaches are at high risk of developing life-threatening rip currents until Tuesday evening as a punishing heatwave descends upon the American Northeast, according to the National Weather Service. Beaches in southern Queens, Brooklyn and Long Island will be affected, along with most beaches facing the Atlantic Ocean in the New York metro area.
“Anyone visiting the beaches should stay out of the surf,” the NWS announced Tuesday. “Rip currents can sweep even the best swimmers away from shore into deeper water.”
Temperatures are slated to climb as high as 93 degrees on Tuesday.
Rip currents are strong, narrow channels of water that move faster than an Olympic swimmer, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. An estimated 100 people are killed each year by rip currents in the United States.
The perilous conditions also come amid blowback faced by Mayor Eric Adams over an insufficient number of lifeguards in the city that critics say his administration has been slow to address.
Adams in early July announced a one-time boost in pay for lifeguards this summer, hoping to reverse a shortage that several communities have slammed as a risk that could have been avoided sooner.
People caught in a rip current are cautioned against swimming against the current and toward the shore, given that its strong pull can easily tire a swimmer out and increase the risk of drowning. Swimmers caught in rip currents are encouraged to instead swim parallel to the shore.