NY, NJ drownings raise fears ahead of summer

Two young men in New Jersey became the latest of nearly a dozen people to drown in New York and New Jersey over the last two weeks, putting many parents on heightened alert.

Wednesday's victims, a 22-year-old and a 17-year-old, drowned in the waters off of Mine Hill Beach.

Just last week, two teenage boys died after drowning in the waters of Jamaica Bay near Queens and a pair of teen brothers drowned in a pool in Bayonne, New Jersey. 

With the summer about to begin next week, experts are warning parents and beachgoers to be extra careful at pools and in the ocean, especially with a national lifeguard shortage making things potentially even more dangerous. 

"It comes down to being safe and knowing how to swim," said Alexa Fox, Pool Director at the Lake Isle Country Club in Eastchester, New York. "If you're not confident in a pool, a lake or the ocean, then you're not safe in the water and it's best to stay out."

In New York City, the Lifeguard shortage means that the Parks Department is shutting down lap swim, senior swim and "Learn to Swim" classes at ourdoor pools, although outdoor pools will remain open for general swimming from 11-3 p.m. and again from 4-7 p.m.

RELATED: Lifeguard shortage poses challenges for beaches, pools

According to the CDC, there are nearly 4,000 drowning deaths a year in the United States. 

Experts are stressing the importance of water safety and taking swimming lessons in order to prevent any tragedies this summer.