daves745t

Correlation between Rip Current Deaths and Beach Replenishment?

46 posts in this topic

I have not been swimming on a replenished beach in some time but I have fished a number of them. I have also fished at several of those notched jetties in MoCo. I am totally against both of these types of "improvements" but the notching seems more dangerous to me since it's so close in and does nothing to abate the rips anyway. It just creates an additional difficulty for the life guards. 

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I put more blame on the person and the conditions of the ocean that particular day than on beach replenishment. Not really sure if people who don't go to the beach very often understand that places with a shore break are a little rougher than other places with the way the waves pound into the sand. You don't want to body surf in a shore break. I've waded and swam through rip currents before and never got pulled under. Strongest currents down here are when it's blowing S and SE and the current is sweeping R to L. 

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We all talk about how to read the water when it comes to fishing. And it takes time to develop that skill as a surf fisherman, waterman, ect. Its ironic how these rips and holes are the best places to fish or paddle through to get past the break but also the deadliest swimming locations for the inexperienced beach patron. The amount of people who come to the beach who have absolutely no idea what a rip current or sandbar or deep pocket looks like is astonishing. Literally every day at work in the summers I have people asking me why we as lifeguards are moving people from one area to another, why we had to go in to help swimmers, etc. It gets frustrating but we have to understand that a large majority of the summer population simply cannot identify safe places to swim.

 

As for jetties, I think they can provide a false sense of security to the unaware swimmer. People see rocks and identify it as a landmark and want to swim near them. Well depending on the swell direction, recent wave action and tide, swimming next to jetties is a typically a terrible idea. Often times there is a hole and rip on the north side of jetties that can be treacherous. In some situations both the north and south sides have holes/rips. Additionally, the amount of sand that shifts around on the beach on a daily basis or tidal cycle is crazy. On my beach this year I watched a hole move over 200 yards in about 3 days until it filled in. One wind switch for a few hours can just as easily open up another. A place that is safe to swim on the incoming tide can be a deadly place to swim on the outgoing. There are so many factors involved. The general public can't identify this when they get excited and go to jump in the water. It ultimately comes down to properly warning the public when guards are on and off duty and having an experienced response team when emergencies happen. 

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19 minutes ago, DakotaBear00 said:

if this is true it could be a reason to stop doing beach replenishment

Too much money in it.  It will never happen...

 

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On 9/28/2017 at 3:29 PM, Linesideslayer said:

I think there might be a better correlation with Death vs IQ count.

exactly.... people are getting dumber all the time.

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People are not getting dumber, at least those running the dredges and the pols in their pockets are getting smarter.

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I know this may sound crazy, but I think people just do not know how to truly swim anymore. When we were growing up, we learned how to swim. We spent a lot of time in the ocean, surfing, body surfing, and there were swimming lessons that a lot of kids would take.

 

Now, I just think people just do not have those skills anymore. So busy with their heads buried in electronic devices. Kids barely leave the house and when they do it is an organized sport like baseball, etc.

 

I would be willing to bet that most 25 yr old kids could not swim the length of an olympic size pool without stopping or touching the bottom.

 

.... then there is the "stupid factor" that was already mentioned earlier

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On 9/29/2017 at 0:30 AM, Sudsy said:

Interesting how they only have data from 1998.

This same thing happened in 1996 and 1997 following the first round of replenishment, along with a large number of neck injuries caused by shore break.

 

On 9/29/2017 at 1:28 PM, DakotaBear00 said:

if this is true it could be a reason to stop doing beach replenishment

 

On 9/29/2017 at 1:47 PM, AckStriperGuyDD said:

Too much money in it.  It will never happen...

 

Perhaps the reason they only kept data since 1998 ?

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On ‎9‎/‎28‎/‎2017 at 3:10 PM, daves745t said:

Interesting points and observations from someone with boots on the ground and I don't necessarily disagree - but I'd still like to see some data. 

Since you're making an extremely shaky point and see you seem to know where the deaths took place, wouldn't it be on you to provide the data that these deaths took place on recently replenished beaches? You can't prove a negative anyway.

 

No offense, maybe you're a newb but rip currents weren't invented in the past five years. People have been drowning since there's been water to swim in, and we had a month of rougher than normal conditions. You're not making much sense here.

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When you're looking at these stats you have to consider the weather.  We had great summer weather this year which always brings in more crowds.  The more people coming to the beach  the more accidents are going to occur.  So while the timing of this all might correlate with the increased pace of beach replenishment since Sandy...it's difficult for me to place blame of increased drownings attributed to that moving sand.  A bad weather year and there will fewer drownings.  

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2 hours ago, stranded1 said:

Since you're making an extremely shaky point and see you seem to know where the deaths took place, wouldn't it be on you to provide the data that these deaths took place on recently replenished beaches? You can't prove a negative anyway.

 

No offense, maybe you're a newb but rip currents weren't invented in the past five years. People have been drowning since there's been water to swim in, and we had a month of rougher than normal conditions. You're not making much sense here.

Reading comp fail - lol

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At its simplest. A great many beaches are dangerous period. Some people are aware of this but a great many are not. The lack of basic knowledge is frightening. Stupidity plays a huge part. Lazy parenting another. We all must have seen parents ignoring their kids in the water whilst they sat on chairs at the top of the beach.

A once a year beach visitor is hardly likely to understand about beach structure and rip tides. How many bother to look at signs showing what a rip tide is. How many could ID one.

Beaches and drownings go hand in hand and it is so sad.

 

Mike

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On 10/2/2017 at 0:08 PM, Fly By Nite said:

When you're looking at these stats you have to consider the weather.  We had great summer weather this year which always brings in more crowds.  The more people coming to the beach  the more accidents are going to occur.  So while the timing of this all might correlate with the increased pace of beach replenishment since Sandy...it's difficult for me to place blame of increased drownings attributed to that moving sand.  A bad weather year and there will fewer drownings.  

There is a correlation, in '96 and '97 there was an unusually high number of drowning deaths and at the time they were telling people to be particularly careful on the replenished beaches because of the stronger rip currents. I remember it clearly.

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