Fewer lifeguards on duty at Hammonasset this weekend

MADISON, Conn. (WTNH)–Hurricane Cristobal is churning up some big waves up and down the East Coast, sweeping swimmers of their feet. The National Weather Service has issued a warning about dangerous surf and rip tides that are hitting Rhode Island beaches.

Here in Connecticut, DEEP is warning that fewer lifeguards will be on duty.

“I’m not allowed to go in the water without my parents looking,” said one young beachgoer at Hammonasset State Park in Madison.

That’s good advice, especially this weekend, with fewer lifeguards and a full beach.

“This has been a banner year for attendance,” said Henry Alves, the Park and Rec Supervisor at Hammonasset Beach.

For 11 straight weekends, there have been at least 10,000 cars packed with beachgoers. Usually there are 22 lifeguards on duty, but this weekend, there will only be four. Most are away at college. East Beach and possibly Meigs Point will be the only beaches guarded.

But with Crystobal offshore, officials say they’re not too concerned.

“We’re not affected too much about rip currents, they can certainly happen and certainly be cognizant of that, but it’s not like Misquamicut where they’re more prevalent especially with the hurricane off shore,” Alves said.

So just be mindful,like Berlin’s Robert Carlson.

“We’re definitely going to watch them more, make sure they’re extra safe and keep them nearby,” he said.

Hammonasset officals say they haven’t had one rescue all summer and they hope to keep it that way.

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