Title

A Study of Rip Current Warning Dissemination Methods

Type of Proposal

Visual Presentation (Poster, Installation, Demonstration)

Start Date

22-3-2018 2:30 PM

End Date

22-3-2018 4:30 PM

Location

Atrium

Faculty

Faculty of Science

Faculty Sponsor

Chris Houser

Abstract/Description of Original Work

Rip currents are a global public health concern, which represent a hazard when swimmers become caught and panic or become exhausted when attempting to swim against the current and back to shore, leading to exhaustion. Studying rip currents from a social science perspective allows researchers to have a more comprehensive understanding of beach user risk. Current research highlights the disconnect between delivery and individual processing of rip current warning messages. This interpretation process is affected by social factors such as gender, age, or prior rip knowledge. Furthermore, a beach user may formulate opinions of safe or dangerous swimming conditions based on the actions of their peers. In this study, we will examine how both rip current warnings and the presence of other beach users simultaneously influence an individual’s decision to enter the water. A survey was sent to undergraduate students at a regional comprehensive University in Ontario, Canada. Results suggest individuals are unable to identify a rip current and decisions are influenced by the presence of fellow beach-goers. This study analyzes behavioural intentions and does not demonstrate action. Future work will assess the effectiveness of rip current warnings on beach sites and evaluate how beach users physically respond to warnings. Understanding how these variables work together will enable managers and communities to create the most effective warnings possible.

Grand Challenges

Viable, Healthy and Safe Communities

Share

COinS
 
Mar 22nd, 2:30 PM Mar 22nd, 4:30 PM

A Study of Rip Current Warning Dissemination Methods

Atrium

Rip currents are a global public health concern, which represent a hazard when swimmers become caught and panic or become exhausted when attempting to swim against the current and back to shore, leading to exhaustion. Studying rip currents from a social science perspective allows researchers to have a more comprehensive understanding of beach user risk. Current research highlights the disconnect between delivery and individual processing of rip current warning messages. This interpretation process is affected by social factors such as gender, age, or prior rip knowledge. Furthermore, a beach user may formulate opinions of safe or dangerous swimming conditions based on the actions of their peers. In this study, we will examine how both rip current warnings and the presence of other beach users simultaneously influence an individual’s decision to enter the water. A survey was sent to undergraduate students at a regional comprehensive University in Ontario, Canada. Results suggest individuals are unable to identify a rip current and decisions are influenced by the presence of fellow beach-goers. This study analyzes behavioural intentions and does not demonstrate action. Future work will assess the effectiveness of rip current warnings on beach sites and evaluate how beach users physically respond to warnings. Understanding how these variables work together will enable managers and communities to create the most effective warnings possible.