Milford fire officials remind beachgoers about safety of Charles Island

Milford fire officials urged visitors at Silver Sands State Park to be especially cautious when walking on the sandbar to Charles Island after a trip to the beach nearly turned tragic for 10 people.



Fire crews rescued the group from the rising tide on the Long Island Sound Monday.



The sandbar out to Charles Island can look inviting when it is visible due to low tide, fire officials say. However, they add that the problem is it floods twice a day with strong currents and an undertow.



They say too many people misjudge the rising tide, get swept off the sandbar into deeper water and have to be rescued.



Jim Cummings just finished fishing on Monday when he says he noticed the group heading out on the sandbar as the tide was rising.



When he couldn't get their attention, he got someone to call 911. Milford fire officials dispatched a Jet Ski and two boats. They say rescue crews arrived on scene to find the kids struggling.



Cummings says the beach's lifeguards make a point to keep people off the sandbar, but the state recently cut them on Mondays and Tuesdays to save money.



Officials say that while you can walk along the sandbar to Charles Island, you can't actually be on the island. State environmental officials say it's a protected nesting site for some birds during the summer months.


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