NARRAGANSETT, R.I. (WPRI) — While Labor Day weekend marks the unofficial end of beach season, many people will still be flocking to the Rhode Island coast to catch some rays as long as the weather allows.
But for those who want to take a dip at state beaches, lifeguards are no longer on duty, so they do so at their own risk, according to R.I. Department of Environmental Management spokesperson Mike Healey.
“Swimmers at unguarded state beaches should have the necessary skill and knowledge to ensure their own safety in and around the water,” Healey said in a statement to 12 News.
That risk may be heightened later in the week with Hurricane Larry expected to churn up local waters, creating strong waves and potentially dangerous rip currents.
Healey urged people not to go swimming when rough surf is present, and to use caution near the shore.
“Rhode Island often experiences needless tragedy during rough weather conditions and storms when wave-watchers or anglers who have climbed onto rocks near the shore get hit by waves, are quickly swept out to deep water, and drown,” he added.
If you ever find yourself caught in a rip current, don’t try to fight it. Instead, swim parallel to the coastline until you’re able to turn back toward the shore.