“Supporting safer coastlines: Exploring the social dimensions of rip current hazards”


Principal investigator: Summer Locknick

Rip currents (also known as rips and rip tides) are a common hazard on beaches worldwide that develop when breaking waves across a wide surf zone vary alongshore. Rips are believed to be responsible for a majority of rescues and fatalities on beaches around the world. In Canada alone, it estimated that 80% of all drownings and rescues are associated with rips. While we understand how and where rips form, the physical dimensions of the hazard, we understand very little about the social dimensions of the hazard. Until we understand how people use the beach and when and why they decide to enter the water, it is difficult to be able to reduce the number of drownings.

Summer Locknick’s proposed research—“Supporting safer coastlines: Exploring the social dimensions of rip current hazards”— will take place at popular beach destinations on the north shore of Prince Edward Island where there are known rip currents near the main access point to the beach, and despite warning flags and a lifeguard program, there have been several drownings in recent years.

Read more on the Fathom Fund site.