UWindsor rip current researchers Chris Houser and Summer Locknick know there’s a threat lurking off our coasts, and now thanks to an article in The Atlantic magazine, readers around the world know it, too.
Dr. Houser, dean of the Faculty of Science, and Locknick (BSc 2018, MSc 2020), a former graduate student in Houser’s Coastal Research Group, were the focus of an article in a recent edition of the magazine, which reported a circulation of more than 833,000 in 2021. The article, reprinted from coastal science magazine Hakai, highlights the team’s research on beach safety.
The team’s research has found that when it comes to the drowning threat posed by rip currents, people often misunderstand, fail to notice, or ignore warning signs posted on beaches.
The article details how Locknick interviewed 500 people at Cavendish and Brackley beaches in Prince Edward Island as part of a research project in the summer of 2019. Less than half of the people interviewed remembered seeing warning signs and even fewer remembered the coloured flags posted near the beach entrance denoting surf conditions.
“You can have the signs; you can have the flags, but they’re not going to fix the problem,” Houser said.