Rip currents cause 68% of surf-related incidents reported by the Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) in the UK (Scott et al., 2008). Last summer, 70 people were rescued from rip currents in Cornwall in just one week in July (read more at the BBC). Recently, Dr Rob Brander (‘Dr Rip’) visited Western Australia, where he did dye experiments at Yanchep Lagoon. At Yanchep, waves wash over a limestone reef and drive a strong current jet that can be referred to as a topographic rip current. At Yanchep, 3 people have drowned in the past 6 years. G&G research fellow Shari Gallop has measured velocities of up to 1.65 m/s in this current at Yanchep. G&G PhD student Seb Pitman is currently researching rip currents, particularly how their morphology influences the hazard to beach users.
Learn more about rip currents:
Read about the topographic rip current at Yanchep Lagoon
Reference cited: Scott, T.M., Russell, P.E., Masselink, G. and Wooler, A., 2008. High volume sediment transport and its implications for beach risk. Proc. 31st Intl. Conf. on Coast. Eng. (Germany).