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Analysis of Hazards Associated with Sea Bathing: Results of Five Years Work in Oceanic Beaches of Santa Catarina State, Southern Brazil

A. H. da F. Klein, G. G. Santana, F. L. Diehl and J. T. de Menezes
Journal of Coastal Research
Special Issue No. 35. PROCEEDINGS OF THE BRAZILIAN SYMPOSIUM ON SANDY BEACHES: MORPHODYNAMICS, ECOLOGY, USES, HAZARDS AND MANAGEMENT (Spring, 2003), pp. 107-116
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40928754
Page Count: 10
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Analysis of Hazards Associated with Sea Bathing: Results of Five Years Work in Oceanic Beaches of Santa Catarina State, Southern Brazil
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Abstract

Beaches are one of the most popular recreational settings in most parts of the world. Indeed, marine tourism has been growing consistently in the last two decades. However, beaches are hazardous environments, and thousands of people die or sustain severe injuries while bathing or engaged in searelated recreational activities. Unfortunately, both academics and practitioners have largely overlooked the issue of beach safety and management. This paper presents the results of a research project developed in Southern Brazil -Beach Management and Safety Project, between the periods of 1995 -2001. The results suggest that two contributing factors had a significant part to play in accidents occurrences: 1) there is a clear correlation between the knowledge level of beach users about the natural environment (sea) and accidents and, 2) rip currents are unequivocally the main natural hazard for bathers. Apart from those, the research also identified that the number of people on the beach, and their behavior, also influence beach accidents. As the number of people increases, bathers tend to move to the backshore and surf zone, creating the conditions to for accidents to occur. As a practical result, the most significant one has been the reduction of fatal accidents by 80% since the introduction of the project in Santana Catalina's north beaches (100 Km).

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