EDISON - Most Jersey Shore beaches have lifted restrictions imposed on swimmers and surfers in the wake of Hurricane Earl and its predecessor.

The red "No Swimming" flags that dotted New Jersey beaches in recent days were mostly gone yesterday, as beaches were once again packed with thousands lured by sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-80s.

Many towns had kept beachgoers out of the water during the past 11 days, citing rough surf conditions and rip currents spawned by Earl and Hurricane Danielle. Those granting access only allowed people to enter the water up to their ankles or knees.

Despite the improved conditions, swimmers are being urged today to stay in areas where lifeguards are stationed and to not swim alone, even if waters don't appear risky.

AP wire services contributed to this report.