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U.S. Surf Zone Fatalities 2016: 108

Preliminary data on fatalities which occurred in the surf zones across National Weather Service areas of forecast responsibility through December 31, 2016. This data is preliminary and may not be completely accurate. Click on a state with surf zone fatalities in 2016 for a more detailed view.

map showing rip current fatalities in 2016. See list below for equivalent information.

Stormready Commercial site
storemready community
sneaker wave fatality location
other, longshore wave
government/military community

Rip Currents
High Surf
Sneaker Waves
Other
Unknown


Rip Current

High Surf

Sneaker Wave

Other

Not
Known

Location

ST

M/F

Age

Date

X         Dorado PR M 71

1/14

   

X

   

Bonny Doon Beach

CA

M

25

1/18

   

X

   

Bonny Doon Beach

CA

F

19

1/18

 

X

     

Rodeo Beach

CA

M

40

1/20

 

X

     

Big Sur

CA

M

Unk*

1/25

 

X

     

Big Sur

CA

M

Unk

1/25

X

       

Whaleshead Beach State Park

OR

M

23

1/30

X

       

Sharp Park Beach

CA

M

60

2/9

X

       

Luquillo

PR

M

Unk

2/22

X

       

Patillas

PR

M

54

2/23

 

X

     

Redondo Beach

CA

M

36

2/25

  X       Queen's Bath, Kauai HI M 28

2/25

       

X

Surfers Beach

CA

M

65

2/28

 

X

     

Half Moon Beach

CA

M

25

2/29

X         Tongan Beach GU N 23

3/5

X

       

Ocean Beach

CA

M

46

3/13

 

X

     

Peterborg Point, St. Thomas

VI

F

22

3/18

X         Isabela PR M 63

3/19

X

       

Bal Harbour Beach

FL

M

18

3/23

X         Santa Monica Beach CA F 17

3/26

X         Corpus Christi (Bob Hall Pier) TX M 16

4/1

  X       Zuma Beach CA M 45

4/3

X      

 

Daytona Beach Shores

FL

M

58

4/15

   

X

   

Rocky Creek State Park

OR

M

26

4/15

 

X

     

Ocean Beach

CA

M

17

4/16

 

X

     

Ocean Beach

CA

M

16

4/16

X         Fajaro PR M 70

4/17

X         Manhattan Beach CA M 24

4/19

X

       

Jacksonville Beach

FL

M

28

4/16

X

       

Venice Beach

CA M 49

5/8

        X Point Arena (near) CA M 57

5/9

        X El Segundo CA M 50

5/15

        X Russian Gulch State Park CA M 57

5/16

X

       

Haulover Beach

FL M 66

5/17

X        

Haulover Beach

FL M 67

5/17

X

       

Guana River State Park

FL M 29

5/22

X         Klipsan Beach WA F 12

5/22

X         Carolina Beach NC M 21

5/28

X

       

Spessard Holland Beach

FL M 20

5/29

X         Spessard Holland Beach FL M 53

5/29

X

       

Daytona Beach

FL M 62

5/30

X         Fort Walton Beach FL M 36

6/7

X         Panama City Beach FL F 52

6/7

X

        Miramar Beach FL ? ?

6/7

X         Orange Beach FL M ?

6/7

        X Van Damme State Park CA M 69

6/7

      X*   Little Presque Isle MI M 22

6/11

      X*   Little Presque Isle MI M 24

6/11

X         Long Beach NJ F 24

6/18

X         Taybe GA M 45

6/18

X         Black's Beach CA M ?

6/18

      X**   Corea Harbor ME M 63

6/22

      X**   Corea Harbor ME M 54

6/22

X         Cabo Roho (Playa Sucia Beach) PR M 21

6/26

X         Luquillo (La Monserrate Beach) PR M 44

6/26

X         Southampton NY M 19

6/28

X         Loiz (Vacia Talega Beach) PR M 60

7/3

X         Gary: Wells Street Beach IN M 26

7/9

X

        Gary: Wells Street Beach IN M 37

7/9

  X       Makapuu Tide Pools, Oahu HI F 6

7/16

  X       Makapuu Tide Pools, Oahu HI M 40s

7/16

  X       Sheboygan WI M 21

7/17

  X       Sheboygan WI M 22

7/17

X         Seaside OR M 13

7/21

X         Ocracoke Island NC M 67

7/22

X         Frisco NC M 71

7/22

X         Huguenot Park FL M 45

7/24

    X***     Shackelford Banks NC M 35

7/25

X        

Carolina

PR M 33

7/30

X         Wildwood NJ M 29

8/9

X         Panama City Beach FL M 39

8/10

X         Stockton Island WI M 15

8/10

X         Ocracoke NC F 64

8/11

X         Bradley Beach NJ M 31

8/13

X         Miami Beach (near 23rd street)    FL M 34

8/14

  X       Tumon Bay GU M 39

8/14

  X       Obyan Beach (Saipan) SP M 30

8/20

X         Port Sheldon MI M 60

8/21

X         Hatillo (Punta Maracayo) PR M 60-65

8/23

X         Corpus Christi (near Bob Hall Pier) TX M 34

8/25

X         Long Beach NY M 26

8/29

X         Assateague Island MD M 45

8/30

X         Rodanthe NC ? 70

9/9

X         Rodanthe NC ? 51

9/9

X         Long Beach WA F ?

9/9

X         Ocean City MD M 44

9/10

X         Jacksonville Beach FL M 19

10/1

X         Salvo NC M 55

10/2

X         Corolla NC M 37

10/3

X         Rodanthe NC M 17

10/13

  X       Atlantic Beach FL M ?

10/15

X         Boynton Beach FL M 67

10/16

X         Mustang Island State Park TX M 13

10/16

X         Buxton NC M 75

10/19

  X       Ritidian Point Beach GU M mid 30s

10/24

  X       Ritidian Point Beach GU F mid 30s

10/24

  X       Ka‘aka‘aniu Beach, Kilauea HI M 73

11/2

  X       Poipu Beach, Kauai HI F 70

11/9

  X       Hanakapiai Beach, Kauai HI F 53

11/12

  X       Kauhala Point HI M 63

11/12

X         San Juan (Ocean Park) PR M 14

11/12

X         Pagat Point GU M 20

11/20

  X       Tarague Beach GU M ?

11/21

X         Rio Grande (Sea Breeze Beach) PR M 47

11/21

X         Ceibo PR M 52

12/26

X         Luquillo PR M 52

12/26

        X Manila CA M 25-30

12/26

  X       Vero Beach FL M 58

12/30

68

25

3

6

6

 

 

 

 

Total: 108

? : unknown,, *longshore current, **strong tide, ***Strong Current

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The graphs below show surf zone fatalities documented by NWS Marine and Coastal Services. 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.

2016 Surf Zone fatalities total: 63% rip currents, 23% hihg surf, 3 percent sneaker waves, remainder unknown, other
2016 Surf Zone fatalities by gender: 86% male,14% female. 2016 Surf Zone fatalities by month, most in June least in Dec
2016 Surf Zone fatalities by NWS region: 35% southern, 20% eastern, 25% western, 13% pacific, 7% great lakes NWS regions map

 


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 Washington Surf Deaths 2016 Georgia Surf Deaths 2016