August 11, 2010

Rip currents continue to keep lifeguards busy

The Associated Press

OLD ORCHARD BEACH — Crowded beaches and strong rip currents are making this a busy summer for lifeguards at beaches in southern Maine and New Hampshire.

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Old Orchard Beach chief lifeguard Keith Willett keeps an eye on swimmers today. Strong rip currents and crowded beaches are making it a busy summer for lifeguards in southern Maine and New Hampshire.

Joel Page/AP

Lifeguards at Maine's Old Orchard Beach already had rescued 93 swimmers as of Wednesday. It's the same story at New Hampshire's busiest beach, where lifeguards have rescued about 75 swimmers on the north side of Hampton Beach.

Lifeguards blame winter storms that carved up the ocean floor and redistributed sand, creating rip currents. At the same time, sunny weather has drawn more people to beaches this summer.

There's been only one death on a Maine beach. A woman jumped in the water at Saco Beach to save her grandchild last month. She was recovered by Old Orchard lifeguards.

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