News

Break the grip of the rip

By: Melissa Schneider / Published: Jun 15,  2006

Who: Tourism and public safety industries
What: Rip current seminar
Where: The Island House Hotel, 26650 Perdido Beach Blvd. Orange Beach, Ala
When: 9 a.m. to noon, Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Each year, America’s surf lifeguards rescue over 60,000 people from drowning, with many of these directly related to rip currents.

Unfortunately, not every beach has a lifeguard, and everyone who swims in the ocean should be educated on how to recognize and survive rip currents. Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium and the Alabama Gulf Coast Convention & Visitors Bureau are hosting a free 3-hour rip current seminar from 9 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, June 28, at the Island House Hotel, 26650 Perdido Beach Blvd., in Orange Beach. The seminar is for people who are involved with tourism and public safety. Experts will explain the dynamics of rip currents and the legalities of how they affect hotel and condominium property owners and managers, public safety workers and city officials. Participants will leave with valuable knowledge to pass onto their patrons, as well as brochures, magnets and signs.

Dr. Jamie MacMahan from the University of Delaware has studied rip currents in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and the Gulf of Mexico. Not one to limit his research to scientific instruments and visual observations, MacMahan also physically jumps into the dangerous currents to study them first-hand. He will describe how and why rip currents form, and most importantly, how to best escape from one.

Josh Clemons, Research Counsel with the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Legal Program, specializes in environmental and natural resource law. He will talk about legal issues that hotels, condominiums, public officials and safety workers face in regard to rip currents.

Registration is free, but space is limited. Registration deadline is June 23. To register, contact Shonda Borden at (251) 438-5690 or bordesm@auburn.edu. For more information on rip currents, contact Borden or visit this page.

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