Dr. Beach’s Survival Guide

Dr. Beach’s Survival Guide: What You Need to Know About Sharks, Rip Currents, & More Before Going in the Water

Stephen P. Leatherman
Copyright Date: 2003
Published by: Yale University Press
Pages: 128
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  • Book Info
    Dr. Beach’s Survival Guide
    Book Description:

    Here, from the nation's most renowned beach expert, is the first complete guide to beach safety. Stephen P. Leatherman (a.k.a. Dr. Beach) introduces the gamut of beach hazards-from sharks to rip currents to jellyfish-revealing which dangers should be of greatest concern and how best to minimize their risks. His scientifically sound advice, interspersed with fascinating facts and anecdotes, makes this book a perfect reference for the millions of travelers and vacationers who visit the ocean shore every year.Practical answers to these intriguing questions and more:• Which U.S. beach records the most shark attacks each year?• Which species of shark is the most dangerous to people?• Why are rip currents the most deadly beach threat?• How can rips be avoided?• What should you do if caught in a rip?• Can lightning strikes at the beach be predicted?• Is a stingray dangerous?• When is ocean water pollution likely to be worst?• What types of waves are threatening and how can they be detected?• What is the danger of a red tide?• How can swimmers avoid contact with jellyfish?

    eISBN: 978-0-300-12897-0
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. Introduction
    (pp. 1-2)

    The sun dipped toward the horizon at the small beach town of Avon, North Carolina. Most beachgoers along the Outer Banks had long since packed up their towels and gear on this fateful day of September 3, 2001. But one couple remained for a last dip in the enticing sea. The Russian nationals from the Washington, D.C., area were swimming together near a sandbar just a dozen yards offshore when a shark suddenly attacked them. The young man, Sergi, 28, sustained massive injuries to his lower extremities, including the mangling and loss of most of one leg. The foot of...

  6. one Sharks
    (pp. 3-42)

    It was the summer of 1916, and optimistic Americans were celebrating their inventiveness and prosperity. On July 1, 25-year-old Charles Vansant went for a long swim off the New Jersey shore at Beach Haven. As he was heading back to shore, some one spotted a large fin slicing through the water. The shark attacked Vansant, who died of his injuries. Five days later and 45 miles north, Charles Burder was swimming in the ocean near Spring Lake with a group of friends when a shark suddenly struck and severed his legs. He bled to death. The people of Matawan, New...

  7. two Rip Currents
    (pp. 43-73)

    During a long, hot summer, nothing is more exhilarating than taking a plunge into the sea at your favorite beach. Never mind that the waves look a little larger than normal or that no lifeguards are on duty—the urge is almost irresistible. A big beach party celebrating Kwanzaa at American Beach, Florida, in 1994 ended in disaster when five people were pulled offshore to their death. The culprit was a rip current—a concentrated flow of water that can jet you offshore (figure 5). Unfortunately, these beachgoers did not know how to spot the killer currents, nor were they...

  8. three Beach Smart
    (pp. 74-87)

    During spring 2001, I made a trip to Thailand to evaluate possible environmental impacts from producing the Hollywood filmThe Beachon location. After poring through all the technical material and experiencing this sensational beach myself, I took a few days off to snorkel in the tropical waters. While swimming amid a school of multicolored fish, I spied what at first appeared to be a giant sea worm wiggling through the water beneath me. Then it dawned on me that there were no giant sea worms in the ocean—this was a poisonous sea snake! The adrenaline rush was almost...

  9. Conclusion
    (pp. 88-90)

    Beaches are the number one recreational destination for Americans, and people are flocking to the shore in ever-increasing numbers. Nothing restores the body and soul like a stay at the beach. We are naturally drawn to the rhythmic pounding of the waves, as if returning to our primordial beginnings.

    The goal of this book is to ensure that your beach experience fulfills your expectations and is not marred by injury or, worse, tragedy.

    As you’ve read, sharks are rarely a problem on swimming beaches, despite the general uneasiness that the movieJaws,along with the media hype over recent attacks,...

  10. Notes
    (pp. 91-92)
  11. For Further Reading
    (pp. 93-94)
  12. Appendixes
    (pp. 95-106)