More than 30 sea areas in Taiwan listed as rip current hot spots

08/01/2022 09:57 PM
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Source: National Cheng Kung University
Source: National Cheng Kung University's Coastal Ocean Monitoring Center

Taipei, Aug. 1 (CNA) A new study that utilizes satellite images and coastal photos shows that more than 30 popular coastal areas in Taiwan are potential rip current hot spots, according to National Cheng Kung University's Coastal Ocean Monitoring Center (COMC).

Supported by the Central Weather Bureau and conducted by the COMC, the study reveals that many popular sea areas are potential candidates for dangerous rip currents, including Baishawan Beach in northern Taiwan, Yuguang Island, Sizihwan Bay as well as Kenting in the south, all of which should consider installing alarm systems, according to COMC Director Doong Dong-jiing (董東璟).

Rip currents are an offshore current that moves perpendicular to the coast formed by coastal terrain and waves breaking near the shore. They are also one of the major causes of seaside accidents, according to Doong.

Rip currents tend to be invisible to the human eye because of their irregular occurrence, he added, but more accurate observations have become possible with advanced technology like satellite imagery and video camera monitoring.

According to Doong, there are more restrictions on satellite images because a satellite can take only one picture a day, while a video camera can make more contributions during the day, though it cannot see current at night.

If anyone finds themselves caught in a rip current, they should wave their hands to draw attention but not struggle against the current to save their strength so as to be able to make it back to the shore when the current abates, he said.

(By Yang Sz-ruei and Ken Chao)

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