Hurricane Jose could lead to high surf risks

NARRAGANSETT, R.I. (WPRI) – Surfing instructor Matthew Nota says despite the fog, Friday was the perfect day for lessons at Narragansett Town Beach. But if Jose gets too close this weekend or next week he might be cancelling his lessons.

“We cancel lessons because it’s just not a good environment for a beginner to be in. It can be really overwhelming and the ocean is really powerful,” he said.

Back on Aug. 30, Eyewitness cameras were rolling at the same beach as two teenagers clutching a body board were pulled offshore. Fortunately, the fire department successfully rescued the two by boat. The center of the storm responsible for that close call was more than 100 miles offshore, that shows how even distant storms can send big waves and rip currents our way.

So even though there is still a lot of uncertainty with the forecast for Jose, it won’t have to get all that close to stir up some dangerous water conditions.

Raising the stakes even more is the fact that state beaches are closed now, and there are no lifeguards on duty. NOTA says there is a first aid kit available at the beach pavilion but it’s still dangerous during the off season.

“It is a little bit more dangerous during the off season because we are the lifeguards and they aren’t sitting in the towers at this time,” he said.

The Department of Environmental Management told Eyewitness news this means surfers and swimmers are out there at their own risk.

“We do take into consideration that if the surf gets too big we won’t go out because it’s not worth putting your life on the line to ride one wave,” Nota said.

These lessons are offered all year long under the condition that it’s safe to go into the water.

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