SEASIDE PARK - A group of lifeguards went above and beyond their borders when they spotted two swimmers in trouble off a neighboring beach.
A stretch of beach in Seaside Park won't see full time lifeguards for another few weeks, but that didn't stop Seaside Heights lifeguards from making a rescue Friday.
Michael Fattibene and his co-lifeguard Will O'Connor say even on a day with red flag warnings and severe riptides, the beaches of Seaside Heights were bustling. "I took my binoculars I noticed that a couple of swimmers were going into the water, clearly a rough day so I wanted to make sure I kept an eye on everybody," Fattibene says.
In nearby Seaside Park, without lifeguards, the beaches were fairly empty. But Fattibene and O'Connor say they kept an eye on Seaside Park even though it's not their coverage area.
And two swimmers are thankful they did. They ventured into the surf around noon, and when Fattibene and O'Connor saw them moving away from the beach, they knew something was wrong.
"One of the main signs we see that a swimmer is in distress is that they're swimming parallel to shore they're not making any movement," O'Connor says. "Right then we went into our basic rescue procedure."
"We jumped on the ATV together with some of our equipment and got down there," says Fattibene.
Seaside Heights Beach Patrol's Chief Jay Boyd says strong winds from the northeast kicked up current and have created ideal conditions for riptides, so he was glad his lifeguards were extra vigilant with these swimmers. "By the time my lifeguards entered the water, they were probably 70 yards off the beach," he says.
The group of five lifeguards were able to rescue both men. Since last week there have been 8 rescue operations.
Seaside Park has lifeguards on the weekends and once school ends, they'll be here on the weekdays as well.