On Saturday morning 18th September, a team from BlueWise Marine assisted by elements from Water Safety Ireland promoted a citizen engagement event in the beach of Lahinch, west coast of Ireland. The purpose was to demonstrate the ability of the WAVY Littoral to capture and visualize illustrate the ocean circulation in a beach environment, in which waves induce currents alongshore and cross-shore (the so-called rip currents). Rip currents are responsible for several fatal incidents with beachgoers since the currents can take unaware swimmers out of their depth.
The event started with engagement talks at the shore, to explain what the currents are and what to do if caught in one, and to explain how the WAVY Littoral works. After this, a set of seven drifters were deployed by citizens and their trajectories were followed visually and also with the help of the smartphone apps developed in the project.
The most noticeable result from this event was the high level of interest generated in the people attending and their increased awareness of the movement of the water in the beach. Water Safety Ireland has also immediately shown interest in repeating it in other beaches, at the start of the 2022 season. To increase the outreach, a video has been produced with the trajectories observed in the day. Check it out!