Rip current fatalities on the Black Sea beaches of Istanbul and effects of cultural aspects in shaping the incidents

Barlas B., Beji S.

NATURAL HAZARDS, vol.80, no.2, pp.811-821, 2016 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 80 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11069-015-1998-x
  • Journal Name: NATURAL HAZARDS
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.811-821
  • Keywords: Istanbul Black Sea coasts, Rip currents, Drowning deaths, Cultural aspects, CURRENT ESCAPE STRATEGIES, AUSTRALIA, EXPERIENCES, KNOWLEDGE, SWIMMERS, SAFETY, CAUGHT, COAST
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


This study examined fatalities due to rip currents in the gendarmerie region of the Black Sea coasts of Istanbul during the period of 2007-2012. Effects of social and religious aspects to the nature and extend of incidents are emphasized. Analyses include the incidence rate of fatalities from rip currents, their causes, temporal and spatial distributions. Gendarmerie hazard event records show that 68 % of all drowning fatalities are associated with rip currents and that on average 33 people die from rip currents each year on the Black Sea beaches of Istanbul. Fifty-four percentage of fatalities are between 18 and 35 years of age. Difference in gender vulnerability is quite pronounced; males are nearly seven times more likely to fall victim to a deadly rip current than females. Weekends naturally have more fatalities than any other day of the week. As expected, summer season weekends are observed to have more fatalities than any other time of the year. July is the most hazardous month and is followed by August. The Muslim fasting month of Ramadan has a significant effect on reducing the fatalities with only six reported deaths during the period of 2007-2012.