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Monitoring swimmer safety

Type: Web Application

Project Phase: Operation and Maintenance

Purpose: Assessing swimmers safety as a result of morphological alterations, such as nourishments

Requirements: 

Relevant Software: Google Earth plug-in

About

In the Netherlands, on average five people per year drown in the surf zone and in most cases rip currents play a role in these accidents. Rip currents can form spontaneously and suddenly in the surf zone, but they usually occur when waves break over a sand bar, water “piles up” between the bar and the beach, and flows out through gaps (rip channels) in the sand bar. Offshore directed velocities of over 1 m/s can be reached, which makes a rip current difficult to counter, even for adult swimmers. The website www.muienradar.nl provides daily predictions of swimming conditions for the beach of Egmond. The predictions are based on model computations of nearshore tidal, wind- and wave-driven currents. The prediction system provides lifeguards and beach visitors with information about the swimming conditions, with special attention to the occurrence of rip currents.

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How to Use

The website Swimmer Safety Egmond is accessible through www.muienradar.nl. The only requirements for using the website are an internet connection and installation of the Google Earth plug-in (will automatically be indicated when needed). The website is known to encounter problems when accessed with Internet Explorer. For best visualization, the use of Google Chrome is advised.

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Practical Applications

The muienradar website is in first instance intended for use by lifeguards and other authorities involved with swimmer safety on beaches. The predictions of the nearshore hydrodynamics are yet to be fully validated and more experience with the forecast system needs now to be gained. Besides the pilot for Egmond, an operational application for the Sand Engine was tested by the lifeguards of Den Haag during summer 2012. The experiences of the lifeguards are presently being evaluated and the pilots will possibly continue in 2013.

  1. Egmond Beach
  2.  Other applications

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References

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