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Rough water, lack of lifeguards could close beaches this weekend

Courtesy of Rehoboth Beach Patrol


If you’re planning to calmly float atop gentle waves at the Delaware beaches this this Labor Day weekend you may be out of luck. Tropical Storm Hermine and a shortage of lifeguards could cause some beaches to close.

Tropical Storm Hermine is working her way up the Atlantic Coast towards Delaware. If the storm continues on its current course, it's expected to move past the Delaware Coast as early as Saturday.     

“So at that point we can expect surf that could be overhead and would be extremely dangerous," according to MattFarlow, first lieutenant for Bethany Beach Patrol.


In addition to the rough surf and strong riptides, most beach patrols are short-staffed right now since a lot of lifeguards are college students who are returning to school.


Some will return to duty this weekend but most of the beach patrols will not be at full staff like they would be during the bulk of the summer.  


If there aren’t enough lifeguards to keep up with the number of rescues needed, they’ll close the beach for the day. They may also ban swimming for the day if they determine the surf to be too rough.


That doesn’t mean you should cancel your plans to visit the beach though.


The best idea is to make sure you swim at a beach with lifeguards on duty and ask them about conditions before you go into the water, according to Farlow.