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Costa Rica Using GPS to Track Rip Tides/Currents

Costa Rica News – One of the biggest dangers when swimming in Costa Rican waters are rip tides or rip currents. If you are intoxicated or are not a strong swimmer it can quickly drown you.  

rip current costa ricaThe Red Cross in Costa Rica is looking to find a way to track these dangers by swimming with dog collars.

It was a new initiative by which they would take to the sea and simply go with the flow in order to track the currents by GPS devices on hidden collars.

Oceanographers from the National University’s International Ocean Institute were on the beach getting signals via a monitor and recording the swimmers’ every move. The idea was to measure the rip currents.

Data they collected included the location, speed, intensity and direction of the rip currents, which are described as internal rivers that can drag a swimmer 10-20 meters in a matter of minutes.

Many drownings have occurred because of this dangerous situation. If you should get stuck in a rip tide the suggestion is to let yourself calmly be swayed by it because it will eventually drop you in calmer waters. The most important thing is to not panic and not try to swim against the current, because it will tire you out too quickly.

Another thing to consider is that being a good swimmer doesn’t mean you can swim far out from the shore in Costa Rica. While Costa Rica has just 5% of the amount of beaches in the US, the amount of drownings is the same! The water is very rough. The experts recommend that even good swimmers stay in water that is up to their knees when still and up to their waist when a wave comes.

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