BOSTON (CBS/AP) – The National Weather Service is warning swimmers about possible riptide currents in Massachusetts and Rhode Island as Tropical Storm Bertha passes within a few hundred miles of southern New England.

The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation has prohibited swimming Wednesday at Horseneck Beach in Westport due to the higher surf and rip currents.

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DCR will continue to monitor the area to determine if the water is safe for swimmers to use  Thursday.

The Weather Service says the threat of rip currents will continue into Wednesday evening for Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, the south coast of Rhode Island and Block Island.

Forecasters say Bertha will be moving east of New England through the day and is expected to bring swells of 5 to 8 feet.

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The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency is advising swimmers to check surf conditions, heed the advice of lifeguards and not swim alone.

Riptides are powerful channels of water flowing away from shore that can be dangerous to swimmers.

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