Rip currents are channeled currents of water that flow away from shore (NOAA, 2010). Rip currents can occur on any beach with breaking waves and are responsible for approximately 80% of all beach rescues in the United States and result in roughly 100 deaths every year. They are dangerous because they pull swimmers away from shore, can vary in intensity and location, can sweep even the strongest swimmer out to sea, and can cause swimmers to become tired and potentially drown. In North and South Carolina, rip currents are responsible for more deaths than any other natural hazard (e.g., flooding, hurricanes, lightning) (Pfaff, personal comm.). Due to the high potential risks to beach users throughout the Carolinas and the United States, Rip Currents Awareness has become a primary focus of coastal and beachfront managers.
- Assessment of the North Carolina Sea Grant Extension Program’s Rip Currents Awareness Program
- Assessment of the South Carolina Sea Grant Extension Program’s Rip Currents Awareness Program
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