You are hereHome › Hal Marcus College of Science & Engineering (CSE) › Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences › Meyer-Arendt, Klaus J. › Rip Current Hazards at Pensacola Beach, Florida Style APAChicagoHarvardIEEEMLATurabian Choose the citation style. Houser, C., Caldwell, N., & Meyer-Arendt, K. J. (no date). Rip Current Hazards at Pensacola Beach, Florida. Rip Currents: Beach Safety, Physical Oceanography, And Wave Modeling, 175-196. Download PDF Rip Current Hazards at Pensacola Beach, Florida Details Type Book Chapter Title Rip Current Hazards at Pensacola Beach, Florida Contributor(s) Houser, Chris (author)Caldwell, Nicole (author)Meyer-Arendt, Klaus J. (author) Located In Rip Currents: Beach Safety, Physical Oceanography, and Wave Modeling Start Page 175 End Page 196 Notes Chapter 11 Abstract Rip currents are approximately shore-normal channels of seaward-directed flows, driven by alongshore variations in wave height and associated variations in the mean water surface elevation. The resulting circulation cells play an important role in nearshore processes through offshore sediment transport and shoreline change (Shepard et al., 1941; McKenzie, 1958; Greenwood and Davidson-Arnott, 1979; Short, 1985; Smith and Largier, 1995; Aagaard et al., 1997; Thornton et al., 2007), but also represent significant hazards to beach users (Short, 1985; Lushine, 1991; Short and Hogan, 1994). Current velocities within a rip channel are on the order of 0.2 to 0.65 ms-1 in low-energy environments (Sonu, 1972 ; Bowman et al., 1988; Sherman et al., 1993; Smith and Largier, 1995; Aagaard et al., 1997; Brander, 1999; MacMahan et al., 2008), but can reach peak velocities in excess of 1 and up to 2 ms-1 in higher energy environments (Sonu, 1972; Brander and Short, 2000). The potential for drowning or rescue depends on the presence of a strong rip current at a specific time and place and also on personal behavior including alcohol consumption, gender, age, swimming ability, panic, and exhaustion (Morgan et al., 2009; Gensini and Ashley, 2009). Wilks et al. (2007) suggest that a rip hazard also depends on whether beach users (particularly tourists) recognize and obey safety information and warning flags. At Pensacola Beach, an important tourist destination in northwest Florida (Figure 11.1), approximately 25% of drowning victims in the last decade were Good Samaritans trying to rescue others or parents going into the surf to rescue their children (Bob West, personal communication). Drownings and near-drownings usually cluster during summer weekends when strong onshore winds are associated with high pressure systems and large beach population are present (Gensini and Ashley, 2009).