Alongshore correspondence of beach users and rip channels at Pensacola Beach, Florida
Beach user, Drowning, Rip current
The potential for rescues and drownings is dependent on the spatial and temporal correspondence of an active rip current with the distribution of vulnerable beach users. This short communication examines the alongshore correspondence among the (1) exit locations of the walkovers, (2) the spatial and temporal distribution of beachgoers, and (3) the position of semipermanent accretion rips at Pensacola Beach, Florida. Results suggest that the alongshore distribution of beach users on the beach and in the water corresponds to the location of beach access points, which during this period of time sit directly landward of the three rip channels visible in the camera frame during the busy summer season of 2010. Assuming that the majority of beach users are unable to identify a rip current and avoid the hazard, the selection of swimming locations based on convenience suggests that beach safety efforts need to focus on guiding beach users to relatively safe locations away from rip current activity. © 2015, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.
Houser, Chris; Murphy, T.; and Labude, D.. (2015). Alongshore correspondence of beach users and rip channels at Pensacola Beach, Florida. Natural Hazards, 78 (3), 2175-2183.