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U.S. Surf Zone Fatalities 2017: 80

Preliminary data on fatalities which occurred in the surf zones across National Weather Service areas of forecast responsibility through September 30, 2017. This data is preliminary and may not be completely accurate. Click on a state with surf zone fatalities in 2017 for a more detailed view.

 

 

map showing rip current fatalities in 2017. See list below for equivalent information.

Stormready Commercial site Rip Currents
storemready community High Surf
sneaker wave fatality location Sneaker Waves
other, longshore wave Other
government/military community Unknown

Rip
Current

High
Surf

Sneaker
Wave

Other

Not
Known

Location

ST

M/F

Age

Date

X         Condado Beach (San Juan) PR M 44

1/1

X         Poza Las Mujues Beach (Manati) PR M 61

1/2

X         Poipu Beach, Koloa

HI

M

66

1/11

  X       Hermosa Beach

CA

F

71

1/12

 

 

X     2 miles north of Cape Blanco

OR

M

3

1/15

 

 

X     2 miles north of Cape Blanco

OR

M

31

1/15

X

 

      Melbourne Beach

FL

F

52

1/15

X         Rincon PR M 39

1/15

 

X       Morro Bay

CA

M

65

1/21

  X       Ocean Beach (San Diego) CA F 23

1/21

  X       Pebble Beach

CA

F

?

1/22

  X       Pebble Beach

CA

M

?

1/22

  X       Poza Las Mujues Beach (Manati) PR M 31

1/22

  X       Kahakuloa ( Maui)

HI

M

34

1/24

  X       Anini Beach, (Kauai)

HI

F

22

1/30

X         Yabucoa PR M 63

2/5

  X       Marias Beach (Rincon) PR M 58

3/6

X         New Smyrna Beach
FL
M 18

3/13

X         Poza La Mujeres Beach 
PR F
29

3/18

    X     South Jetty Park Beach OR
F
14 

3/25

    X     Monastery State Beach
CA
M 9

3/28

    X     Cape Flattery WA M ?

4/2

X         Destin Beach FL M 49

4/4

X         Fort Morgan AL M 50

4/4

X         Jensen Beach/Sea Turtle Beach FL M 16

4/8

X         Mission Beach (San Diego) CA M 7

4/9

X         New Smyrna Beach FL M 8

4/15

X         Galveston Beach TX M 31

4/16

X         St. Croix USVI M 54

4/18

X         Miami Beach FL M ?

4/28

X         Key Biscayne FL M ?

4/29

X         Longboat Key FL M 58

5/8

  X       Cerro Gordo Beach (Vega Alta) PR M 34

5/15

  X       Cerro Gordo Beach (Vega Alta) PR M 18

5/15

X         Palm Beach FL M 51

5/16

        X Gilchrist TX M 53

5/27

X         North Padre Island TX M 353

5/28

X         Galveston Beach TX M 20

5/31

X         Anna Maria Island FL M 25

6/9

X         Emerald Isle NC M 17

6/10

X         Emerald Isle NC M 16

6/10

      X**   Crystal Beach TX F 33

6/12

X         Belmar NJ F 13

6/15

X         Atlantic City Beach NJ F 16

6/15

X         Atlantic City Beach NJ M 15

6/15

X         Atlantic Beach NC M 56

6/17

X         Atlantic Beach NC M 21

6/18

X         Belmar NJ M 12

6/19

X         Fort Morgan AL M 57

6/24

        X North Wildwood NJ M 24

6/25

X         Padre Island National Seashore TX F 59

7/1

X         Bob Hall Pier TX F 34

7/4

X         Holden Beach NC M 24

7/9

X         Fort Macon State Park NC M 59

7/11

X         Boca Grande FL M 15

7/15

X         Sandy Hook NJ F 12

7/16

X         Loiza PR M 8

7/16

X         Corolla NC M 30

7/20

  X       Point Pleasant Beach NJ F 24

7/30

X         Smith County Park NY M 10

7/30

X         Ocean City MD M 35

7/31

      X   Sea Isle City NJ M 58

7/31

        X Atlantic City Beach NJ M 31

8/1

      X*   Sea Isle City NJ M ?

8/6

  X       Alega Beach AS*** M ?

8/6

      X*   Evergreen Beach TX M 67

8/7

X         Evergreen Beach TX M 46

8/7

X         Park Point Beach MN M ?

8/10

X         Park Point Beach MN F 10

8/10

X         Orange Beach AL M 19

8/11

X         Orange Beach AL M 12

8/11

X         Nobadeer Beach MA M 40

8/16

X         Sea Pines Beach SC M 61

8/19

X         Corolla Beach NC M 35

9/2

X         Wildwood NJ M 35

9/3

X         Hatteras Point (in Buxton) NC M 17

9/9

X         Asbury Park NJ F 42

9/20

X         Seven Presidents Park NJ M 34

9/23

  X       Fernandina Beach FL M 49

9/24

X         Point Pleasant Beach NJ M 60

9/24

53

14

5

5

3

 

 

 

 

Total: 80

*longshore current, **tidal current, ***American Samoa, ? : unknown

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Accurately tracking these types of fatalities is difficult because so many go unreported and undocumented. Due to the difficult nature of tracking surf zone fatalities; these data may not match other sources.

  • Surf Zone: area of water between the high tide level on the beach and the seaward side of the breaking waves. The NWS officially categorizes surf zone fatalities caused by three types of hazards; Rip Current, High Surf and Sneaker Wave (see definitions below).
  • Rip Current: A relatively small-scale surf-zone current moving away from the beach. Rip currents form as waves disperse along the beach causing water to become trapped between the beach and a sandbar or other underwater feature. The water converges into a narrow, river-like channel moving away from the shore at high speed.
  • High Surf: Large waves breaking on or near the shore resulting from swells spawned by a distant storm.
  • Sneaker Wave: Large wave that suddenly swamps a beach/coast and takes people by surprise sweeping them into the water.

Occasionally, there are surf zone fatalities caused by other hazards such as unusual waves and currents. These hazards fall in the “Other” category. “Other” is not an official category defined by the NWS. Rip Currents cause a large of percentage of the surf zone fatalities in the United States. Typically, a victim of a surf zone hazard is a male between the ages of 10-29. Most of the fatalities occur during the months of June and July and in the NWS Southern Region.

NWS started tracking these statistics in 2013. We do not have breakdowns before 2013.

California Surf Zone Fatalities 2016 Florida Surf Zone Fatalities 2016 Oregon Surf Zone Fatalities 2016 Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands Surf Zone Fatalities 2016 New Jersey surf deaths in 2016 New York surf deaths in 2016 Alabama surf deaths in 2016 Michigan surf deaths in 2016 Hawaii Surf Deaths Indiana Surf Deaths Wisconsin Surf Deaths North Carolina Indiana Surf Deaths Texas Surf Deaths 2016 Maryland Surf Deaths 2016 Massachusetts Surf Deaths 2016