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Type of Proposal

Digital Poster

Start Date

31-3-2017 1:00 PM

End Date

31-3-2017 2:00 PM

Faculty

Faculty of Science

Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Chris Houser

Abstract

Beach User Perceptions of the Rip Current Hazard on the Great Lakes Summer Locknick 104267448 locknic@uwindsor.ca With 42 recorded drownings in the Great Lakes this year (2016), rip currents and other surf hazards are a public health issue in both Canada and the United States. Preliminary evidence suggests that the public has limited knowledge of rip currents, and are therefore not making informed decisions, which puts them at risk every time they go to the beach. This study attempts to quantify the vulnerability of potential beach users to be caught in a rip current on the Great Lakes. Specifically, the survey examines how beach users make decisions on the beach including: what beach they visit, what they do at these locations, how they pick a site at the beach, and what influences people to enter the water or not. The survey was administered to both potential beach users as well as lifeguards and lifesavers from Canada and the United States. In order to gain an understanding of people’s perception on rip currents, the online survey consists of beach photographs, scenarios, and general knowledge of rip currents. The results of the survey will be used to improve education about rip currents, as well as creating awareness on the beaches of the Great Lakes. The goal is to aid in the development of new management strategies to influence beach user behaviour, in the hopes of reducing the number of drownings and rescues on the Great Lakes. Key Words: Great Lakes, rip current, survey.

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Mar 31st, 1:00 PM Mar 31st, 2:00 PM

Beach User Perceptions of the Rip Current Hazard on the Great Lakes

Beach User Perceptions of the Rip Current Hazard on the Great Lakes Summer Locknick 104267448 locknic@uwindsor.ca With 42 recorded drownings in the Great Lakes this year (2016), rip currents and other surf hazards are a public health issue in both Canada and the United States. Preliminary evidence suggests that the public has limited knowledge of rip currents, and are therefore not making informed decisions, which puts them at risk every time they go to the beach. This study attempts to quantify the vulnerability of potential beach users to be caught in a rip current on the Great Lakes. Specifically, the survey examines how beach users make decisions on the beach including: what beach they visit, what they do at these locations, how they pick a site at the beach, and what influences people to enter the water or not. The survey was administered to both potential beach users as well as lifeguards and lifesavers from Canada and the United States. In order to gain an understanding of people’s perception on rip currents, the online survey consists of beach photographs, scenarios, and general knowledge of rip currents. The results of the survey will be used to improve education about rip currents, as well as creating awareness on the beaches of the Great Lakes. The goal is to aid in the development of new management strategies to influence beach user behaviour, in the hopes of reducing the number of drownings and rescues on the Great Lakes. Key Words: Great Lakes, rip current, survey.