ABSTRACT

Zhang, K.; Zhang, M.C.; Leatherman, S.B., and Leatherman, S.P., 2020. Rip current hazard analysis. In: Malvárez, G. and Navas, F. (eds.), Global Coastal Issues of 2020. Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue No. 95, pp. 969–973. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.

The effect of rip currents on swimmers was analyzed based on the drag force acting on swimmers and the power they need to generate to overcome the drag force. The drag force and power increase quadratically and cubically, respectively, with increase of rip current and swimming speeds. An additional 50% increase in rip current speed above swimmer's speed results in a 125% increase in drag force, requiring a 238% increase in power by the swimmer to overcome the additional drag. Hence, even rip currents of low velocity can be dangerous and swimming against the current should be avoided.

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