Brief Communication: A new perspective on the Australian rip current hazard
- 1School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
- 2School of Geosciences, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
- 3Surf Life Saving Australia, Locked Bag 1010, Rosebery, NSW 2018, Australia
Abstract. Rip currents are strong, narrow offshore flows of water which occur on many of the world's beaches and represent a serious hazard to bathers. In Australia, rip currents account for an average of 21 confirmed human fatalities per year. Based on an analysis of the longest existing data records, rip currents account for more human fatalities in Australia on average each year than bushfires, floods, and cyclones combined. This finding raises important questions regarding the levels of attention placed on the low intensity, but high frequency rip current hazard in relation to high profile and episodic natural hazards.