Cristobal creating risky conditions at N.J. beaches

Hurricane Cristobal is remaining far off the New Jersey coast but still contributing to risky conditions at beaches along the state's coast. (AP PHOTO/WEATHER UNDERGROUND)

Hurricane Cristobal is churning up rip currents and waves, creating potentially dangerous conditions at beaches along the New Jersey coast, though the hazard should taper off by Labor Day weekend.

The National Weather Service says there's a high risk for strong rip currents through this evening at New Jersey and Delaware beaches.

"They will present a serious threat to anyone who enters the water," a weather service statement said.

Some beach patrols were reporting this morning that beaches were open but swimming wasn't being permitted.

The powerful, quick-flowing channels can quickly pull swimmers away from the shore. A rip current was blamed for the drowning death this week of a 17-year-old boy who was swept out to sea off Sandy Hook.

A Gateway National Park Service spokeswoman told the Asbury Park Press that Sarmad Rizvi, of South Plainfield, died early Wednesday after he was pulled from an unguarded area of the water Tuesday night.

Cristobal will make its closest approach to the region today, but will remain "well offshore," the weather service said.

From Maryland to New England, the risk for hazardous swimming conditions peaks today, according to AccuWeather. The rough conditions are expected to ease on Friday.

Rip currents occur most frequently at low spots, breaks in the sandbar and near structures like jetties and piers. Swimmers are advised to follow directions from lifeguards, pay attention to flags and obey posted signs.

Contact Emily Babay at 215-854-2153 or Follow @emilybabay on Twitter.

Contact the Breaking News Desk at 215-854-2443 or Follow @phillynews on Twitter.