Lavallette beaches will continue to be guarded on weekends in September, albeit on a smaller scale that the height of the summer tourism season, officials said.
The announcement that guards would continue to serve in September is a departure from the policy the borough had adopted over the last several seasons, which involved a skeleton crew of rescuers who were on-call to respond to incidents that were called in after they occurred.
“In the previous years, we’ve had a response team,” said Councilman Michael Stogdill. “That was not a bad thing to have, but you’re relying on the 911 call to go in, and you just don’t know.”
Stogdill said the September lifeguarding operation would likely consist of four or five stands, depending on the available manpower and the weather.
“We haven’t determined which beaches quite yet,” said Stogdill. “We’re also going to have the vehicles up there so we can quickly get to one of the closed beaches should somebody decide they’re going to swim at one of those unguarded beaches.”
The exact locations of the guarded beaches will be determined later this week and will be announced on the borough’s website and on the Lavallette Beach Patrol Instagram page.
The continuation of guards after Labor Day came following discussions amongst officials having to do with the number of residents and visitors remaining in town beyond what was normally the traditional summer tourism season, as well as the general uncertainty of where sandbars and rip currents might be present while the weather stays warm.
Beaches will be open for free, though swimming will be restricted to guarded beaches as long as guards are on duty.
“Beach badges are not required for Saturdays and Sundays – the season is over in that regard,” Stogdill said.