Almost 80 percent of beachgoers in Aotearoa are unable to spot rips in the surf, according to a new study. The research, conducted as part of a collaboration between Surf Life Saving New Zealand and beach safety experts at several universities including Auckland and UNSW Sydney, found that most beachgoers could not accurately identify rips. 

“What we observed was a dangerous and well-established rip current moving quickly offshore from Muriwai Beach, and when we asked beachgoers to point it out to us, the vast majority were unable to do so,” says Dr Seb Pitman, a coastal geomorphologist from the University of Canterbury. 

The researchers also looked at whether people were better able to identify a rip current in a static photograph, as this is how many Kiwis learn about rips. The study found that two-thirds of people could see the rip current in the picture but could not pick one out in real life. • Sophie Boladeras

Full story in this week’s Gulf News… Out Now!!!

Subscribe and read Gulf News and Waiheke Weekender Online