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July 2, 2015

This holiday weekend’s a good time to think about the remarkable job done by the lifeguards who patrol New Jersey’s beaches. An estimated 2,694 people were rescued by Garden State lifeguards in New Jersey in 2014, according to a report by the United States Lifesaving Association.

That number was far greater than the number of rescues in 2013, when 1,158 people were saved by lifeguards in New Jersey.

A total of 5,551,380 people visited New Jersey beaches in 2014, and the year in general was a safe one, with only three deaths reported among beachgoers: two drownings at unattended beaches and one other fatality of an undisclosed nature.

However, the number of fatalities was still up from 2013, when only one drowning was reported.

Most lifeguard rescues last year involved riptides: 1,762 rescues were riptide-related, while 503 were surfing accidents and 62 were described as “swiftwater-related.”

The USLA has calculated that the chance of someone drowning on a lifeguard-monitored beach at one in 18 million.

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