Advertisement

Management Tools for Safety in Costa Rica Beaches

  • Isabel Arozarena LlopisEmail author
  • Alejandro Gutiérrez Echeverría
Chapter
Part of the Coastal Research Library book series (COASTALRL, volume 24)

Abstract

More than 700 people have drowned in Costa Rica beaches since 2001, and so far, very few governmental actions have been developed in order to improve beach safety. RONMAC program (Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica) has been doing exhaustive research on rip currents since 2010. Drowning data have allowed defining the social profile of drowned people, the most risky beaches and the drowning seasonality. Young males from the central part of the country are the most prone to drown according to drowning data. Survey campaigns have been made in order to understand how the previous knowledge on rip currents and the behavior of beach users can influence their vulnerability to drown. Rip current mapping is being used to estimate beach hazard and GPS dog collar on lifesavers are being used to measure rip currents speeds and trajectories. In the last months, RONMAC together with other institutions have issued a law proposal at the Legislative Assembly for creating a National Lifesavers Brigade.

Keywords

Rip currents Beach safety Drownings Lifeguards Vulnerability Hazard 

Abbreviations

OIJ

Organismo de investigaciones Judiciales

ICT

Instituto Costarricense de Turismo

WHO

World Health Organization

CNE

Comisión Nacional de Emergencias

CAT

CNE Technical Advising Committee

CCT

Costa Rica Chamber of Tourism

INA

National Apprenticeship Institute

SNG

National Coast Guard Service

IGN

National Geographic Institute

USAID

United States Agency for International Development

EPA

Environmental Protection Agency

RONMAC

Universidad Nacional Sea Level and Coastal Hazard Research Network

IDB

Interamerican Bank of Development

PNUD

United Nations development program

References

  1. Arozarena I, Houser C, Gutiérrez A, Brannstrom C (2015) The rip current hazard in Costa Rica. Nat Hazards 77(2):753–768CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Barrett G, Houser C (2012) Identifying hot spots of rip current activity using wavelet analysis at Pensacola Beach Florida. Phys Geogr 33:32–49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Brander RW (2013) Thinking space: can a synthesis of geography save lives in the surf? Aust Geogr 44:123–127CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brander RW, MacMahan JH (2011) Future challenges for rip current research and community outreach. In: Leatherman S, Fletemeyer J (eds) Rip currents -beach safety physical oceanography and wave modeling. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, pp 1–29Google Scholar
  5. Brander RW, Bradstreet A, Sherker MMJ (2011) The behavioral responses of swimmers caught in rip currents: new perspectives on mitigating the global rip current hazard. Int J Aquat Res Educ 5:476–486Google Scholar
  6. Brannstrom C, Brown HL, Houser C, Trimble S, Santos A (2015) “You can’t see them from sitting here”: evaluating beach user understanding of a rip current warning sing. Appl Geogr 56:61–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Brannstrom C, Trimble S, Santos A, Lee Brown H, Houser C (2014) Perception of the rip current hazard on Galveston Island and North Padre Island Texas USA. Nat Hazards 72(2):1123–1138CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Brighton B, Sherker S, Brander R, Thompson M, Bradstreet A (2013) Rip current related drowning deaths and rescues in Australia: 2004–2011. Nat Hazards Earth Syst Sci 13:1069–1075CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cervantes O, Verduzco-Zapata G, Botero C, Olivos-Ortiz A, Chávez-Comparan JC, Galicia-Pérez M, (2015) Determination of risk to users by the spatial and temporal variation of rip currents on the beach of Santiago bay Manzanillo Mexico: beach hazards and safety strategy as tool for coastal zone management. Ocean Coast Manag (118) part: 205-214Google Scholar
  10. Darlymple RA, MacMahan JH, Jeniers JHM, Nelko V (2011) Rip currents. Annu Rev Fluid Mech 43:551–581CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Drozdzewski D, Roberts A, Dominey-Howes D, Brander R, (2015) The Experiences of Weak and Non-Swimmers Caught in Rip Currents at Australian Beaches. Australian Geographer 46 (1):15-32Google Scholar
  12. Drozdzewski D, Shaw W, Dominey-Howes D, Brander R, Walton T, Gero A, Sherker S, Goff J, Edwick B (2012) Surveying rip current survivors: preliminary insights into the experiences of being caught in rip currents. Nat Hazards Earth Syst Sci 12:1201–1211CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Engle JA, (2003) Formulation of a rip current forecasting technique through statistical analysis of rip current-related rescues. Master of Science Thesis. University of Florida. Available via http://etd.fcla.edu/UF/UFE0000680/engle_j.pdf
  14. Gensini VA, Ashley WS (2010) An examination of rip current fatalities in the United States. Nat Hazards 54:159–175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Houser C, Barrett G, Labude D (2011) Alongshore variation in the rip current hazard at Pensacola Beach Florida. Nat Hazards 57:501–523CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (ICT) (2015). Anuario Estadístico de Turismo 2015. Available via http://wwwictgocr/es/documentos-institucionales/estad%C3%ADsticas/informes-estad%C3%ADsticos/anuarios/2005-2015/873-anuario-de-turismo-2015/file.html Accesed Aug 2016
  17. Klein A, Santana C, Diehl E, De Menezes J (2003) An analysis of hazards associated with sea bathing: results of five years work in oceanic beaches of Santa Catarina state southern Brazil. J Coast Res SI 35:107–116Google Scholar
  18. Lascody LL (1998) East central Florida rip current program. Nat Weather Dig 22(2):25–30Google Scholar
  19. Lippmann TC, Holman RA (1990) The spatial and temporal variability of sand bar morphology. J Geophys Res 95(C7):11575–11590CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lizano 2013 MIO-CIMAR wave broadcast for Costa Rica Pacific and Caribbean coasts. Data available on http://www.miocimar.ucr.ac.cr/)
  21. Lushine JB (1991) A study of rip current drownings and related weather factors. Nat Weather Dig 16:13–19Google Scholar
  22. Marshall J, Barnhart A, Butcher A, Freimuth C, Khaw F, LaFromboise E, Landeros M, Morrish S, Olson E, Ritzinger B, Stewart D, Utick J, Wellington K, Wenceslao L, Gardner T, Harbor D, Osborn S, (2015) Beachrock horizons of the Nicoya Peninsula Costa Rica: Geomorphology petrology and neotectonic significance. In: Wang P, Rosati JD, Cheng J, (eds) Proceedings of the 8th international Symposium on Coastal Sediments, San Diego, 2015Google Scholar
  23. Morgan D, Ozanne-Smith J, Triggs T (2009) Direct observation measurement of drowning risk exposure for surf bathers. J Sci Med Sport 12:457–462CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Schrader M, (2004) Evaluation of the ECFL LURCS rip current forecasting scale and conditions of selected rip current events in Florida. Master of Science Thesis. University of FloridaGoogle Scholar
  25. Scott T, Russell P, Masselink G, Wooler A (2009) Rip current variability and hazard along a macro-tidal coast. J Coast Res 56:895–899Google Scholar
  26. Sherker S, Brander R, Finch C, Hatfield J (2008) Why Australia needs an effective national campaign to reduce coastal drowning. J Sci Med Sport 11:81–83CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Sherker S, Williamson A, Hatfield J, Brander R, Hayen A, (2010) Beachgoers’ beliefs and behaviors in relation to beach flags and rip currents. Accid Anal Prev 42:1785–1804Google Scholar
  28. Short AD, Hogan CI (1994) Rip currents and beach hazards: their impact on public safety and implications for coastal management. J Coast Res SI 12:197–209Google Scholar
  29. Vidal C, Losada MA, Medina R, Losada I (1995) Modelos de morfodinámica de playas. Ingeniería del Agua 2(April 1995):55–74Google Scholar
  30. World Health Organization, (2014) Global report on drowning.. Available via http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/143893/1/9789241564786_eng.pdf?ua=1&ua=1
  31. Wright LD, Short AD (1984) Morphodynamic variability of beaches and surf zones: a synthesis. Mar Geol 56:92–118CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Isabel Arozarena Llopis
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alejandro Gutiérrez Echeverría
    • 1
  1. 1.Red de observación del nivel del mar e investigación en amenazas costeras (RONMAC)Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica (UNA)HerediaCosta Rica

Personalised recommendations