The host of ‘The 3rd International Rip Current Symposium’ is Lifesaving Society Korea in cooperation with the Korean Coast Guard and other governmental authorities, including many Korean academic institutions. The organizers of this highly successful conference are Mr. DaeYoung Kang, Chief Technical Officer, Lifesaving Society Korea and Dr. Jooyong Lee, Research Professor, Sungkyunkwan University. This meeting also was ‘The 1st Asian Water Safety Conference.’
Haeundae Beach in Busan was an excellent place to hold the symposium with the conference hotel overlooking this beautiful and very popular beach. Busan is South Korea's second largest metropolitan areas, after the capitol city of Seoul. Haeundae Beach is patrolled by a first-class team of lifeguards that utilize boats for rescues when necessary. Nearshore wave data are received at the Coast Guard and Lifesaving Station on the beach, which is used to predict rip currents on a real-time basis. The conference attendees were able to visit the Rip Current Forecasting Center and learn more about this advanced system promoting beach safety.
More than 100 papers were presented both orally in nine sessions and through the poster sessions during the three day symposium. Sessions included physical rip current science, safety for beach tourism, human behavioral science and public education strategies, beach hazard management, water safety, and multi-disciplinary research. While most of the presenters were from academic institutions in South Korea and China, there were quite a few researchers and practitioners from Australia and the United States. The overall quality of the papers presented was very high.
The food provided for lunch, dinners and banquets throughout the conference was excellent; our South Korean hosts really did a remarkable job in planning and conducting this international meeting. I would especially like to thank Peter (DaeYoung) Kang for his kindness and personal assistance that made everything so enjoyable at this symposium and the post-meeting field trips. South Korea is a wonderful place to visit—I felt safe everywhere that I traveled, including downtown Seoul, and these hard working people are indeed great friends of Americans.
Florida International University, USA
Prof. Stephen P. Leatherman