With a torrent of offshore tropical storms and hurricanes churning up dangerous, heavy surf south of Martha’s Vineyard throughout the summer, Chilmark beach manager Martina Mastromonaco spoke with the Gazette this week about best techniques for avoiding rip tides and staying safe in the water.


A National Weather Service high surf and rip current warning remains in effect today for the south coast of Massachusetts, including the Vineyard. Seas could run from six to 12 feet. Swimmers are advised to use extreme caution.

The National Weather Service has issued an advisory Wednesday for high surf and a high risk of dangerous rip currents along ocean beaches on the south coast of the Vineyard.


In an unusual incident, 13 swimmers were pulled from the water off Wasque Wednesday afternoon after several people were caught in the current and carried offshore.

The swimmers were rescued by the Edgartown fire department boat and a town shellfish department boat. There were at least three separate groups of people involved.

South-facing beaches along Martha’s Vineyard are under high risk for rip currents today, the National Weather Service has announced. The warning will remain in effect through Monday evening.

In response to the warning, The Trustees of Reservations has closed the beach at Long Point Wildlife Refuge. Swimmers are encouraged to use the pond for swimming.



Last Sunday, while chasing waves in the Atlantic Ocean at Philbin Beach with my 11-year old granddaughter, I noticed the surf, which had been crashing in, had suddenly disappeared. The ocean I was standing in up to my waist seemed eerily calm. The sandy shore behind me lay perfectly flat, like a sheet of paper. How peculiar.