ABSTRACT

Brito, W.C..; Pereira, L.C.C.; Sousa, R.C., and Short, A.D., 2016. Beach hazard and risk perception of lifeguards working in a macrotidal Amazon beach. In: Vila-Concejo, A.; Bruce, E.; Kennedy, D.M., and McCarroll, R.J. (eds.), Proceedings of the 14th International Coastal Symposium (Sydney, Australia). Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue, No. 75, pp. 1222 - 1226. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.

Amazon sandy beaches attract a large number of beachgoers, mainly during July the school vacation period and beginning of the dry season. Local hydrodynamic processes are related to the presence of moderate wave energy (Hs up to 1.7 m and Hmax up to 2.0 m), macrotides (around 5.0 m during spring tides), and strong currents (up to 1.5 m/s in the surf zone and more than 2.0 m/s in the tidal channels). These conditions represent hazards to beachgoers, and result in drowning and other injuries. Lifeguard services began in Ajuruteua (Pará) in 2008, however at present, the lifeguards have little knowledge about physical beach hazards and are provided with limited safety equipment and training. Thus, the lifeguards are not well equiped to protect and educate the beach users. Overall, the risks to the beachgoers result from a combination of factors including as the hazardous hydrodynamic conditions combined to the high number of beachgoers (around 15,000 beachgoers during summer vacation period) and their lack of knowledge of physical beach hazards. There is a clear need for the implementation of management initiatives in order to reduce the local risks, and consequently to guarantee the safety and the quality of the recreational experience of the beachgoers in this Amazon sector. This study investigated the perception of the lifeguards about the beach hazard and risks at Ajuruteua beach (Pará).

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