1st International Rip Current Symposium

December 15, 2009

Rip currents exact an enormous emotional and economic toll on society. It is estimated that 100 to 150 people drown in rip currents each year in U.S. waters and it's likely that rip currents account for more than a thousand deaths worldwide. A serious disconnect exists between rip current research and public understanding. Rip currents are often confused with rip tides and undertows, and more importantly, most people do not know how to even identify, much less escape, from a rip current.

The goal of the Rip Current Symposium is to identify advancements in rip current research that will lead to a better understanding about the dynamics, mechanisms, and predictability of rip currents. In addition, the Symposium will help identify psychological, anthropological, and behavioral factors that relate to rip current drownings on surf beaches. These two objectives will be combined to develop more effective methods of reducing the number of rip current drowning deaths. In addition, the legal responsibility of avoiding rip currents involves not only beach visitors, but lifeguards and beach managers. The obligations of beach managers and visitors create a grey area in terms of legal issues and liability that require further examination.
-end-


University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science

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