Neptune Township police are telling teens to stop jumping off the Highway 35 bridge and railroad bridge into the waters around Seaview Island.
In a Facebook post Wednesday, police said they “understand that kids will be kids,” but pointed to the dangers of taking the plunge and the stress it places on emergency responders.
“There are plenty of ways to have fun on the shore in the summer besides jumping off bridges,” said police, who warned they had stepped up patrols on the bridge and its surroundings. They made arrests and contacted parents of children found jumping off the bridge.
It’s not a new problem. In fact, it has been going on for generations. However, traffic has increased in the area and added to the dangers of diving into the water itself.
Strong currents are often present in Shark River Inlet. Deck supports and large rocks can be just below the waterline at low tide.
Here are some reasons why the police say it’s not a good idea:
- The bridge, railroad bridge, and surrounding property are owned by NJ TRANSIT, the New Jersey Department of Transportation, and private companies, and entering the area without permission may be considered trespassing.
- The trains run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and pass constantly at high speed, posing an extreme hazard to pedestrians on or near the tracks and the bridge.
- Shark River Inlet is subject to strong tidal currents which are even stronger around the bridge supports.
- Large submerged rocks and bridge supports are all over the area below the bridge and may be impossible to see due to the tide and low light.
- Boat traffic is heavy below the bridge and the low light increases the chance of being hit by a passing boat.
- Vehicle traffic on the bridge itself is always heavy and fast vehicles have less time to stop for pedestrians.
- When a passing motorist calls 911 to report someone about to jump off a bridge, a major emergency response begins immediately as the dispatcher is unable to tell the difference between children jumping into water for fun and a much more serious incident until first responders actually arrive on the scene.
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