Visakhapatnam: Swimming in the sea off the city beaches could be safe if tourists follow warnings issued by the Andhra University Meteorology and Oceanography department, which takes up survey of forecasting rip currents and identifying risky spots.
Rip currents are powerful channelled currents of water flowing away from the shore to the sea and cause drowning. If the currents persist for a long time it erodes beach.
With the grant of Rs 1 crore from ISRO and DRDO, the department under the guidance of Prof. K.V.S.R. Prasad is taking up three projects. One of them is to forecasting rip currents and identify beach stretches that mostly experience strong surface currents from the shore to the sea.
By understanding wave conditions chances forecasting formation of rip currents can be identified. Many developed countries have already developed such beach warning systems that gives details about the rip current scenario of a local beach as part of their weather service.
The department researchers have been collecting images and real time data from ISRO. Identifying the rip currents via the naked eye is very difficult.
According to Prof. Prasad, the systems followed by other countries to forecast the rip currents would be deployed. Equipment coupled with research work will help forecast the wave condition.
“We have studied the rip current phenomenon along the 25 km stretch from Yarada to Bheemili beach.
“The 24-hour forecast would largely help to check death by drowning incidents. Earlier, fishermen were told not to venture into sea for the next 2-3 days.
Another one is on NASA and ISRO collaborative satellite which is going to be launched in 2020 as part of a precursor to satellite launch. Airborne sensor SAR for ocean studies and for which a sensor needs to be kept in an aircraft. As there is no defence clearance, the project will be taken up in Kakinada....