Journal article

Expert perceptions of the 'freak' wave myth on Australia's rocky coasts

Peter Kamstra, Brian Cook, David M Kennedy, Sarah McSweeney, Eveline Rijksen, Shane Daw

OCEAN & COASTAL MANAGEMENT | ELSEVIER SCI LTD | Published : 2019

Abstract

Hazardous rocky coasts are a leading site for coastal drowning deaths worldwide. Between 2004 and 2017, 149 rock fishers have drowned on Australia's rocky coasts, making rock fishing one of Australia's deadliest sports. Most portrayals of drowning frame the event with high-energy waves inundating shore platforms, washing fishers off balance and into the ocean. The physical risk of overtopping waves is known, yet few studies have explored how fishers perceive overtopping wave hazards, or how experience influences those perceptions. Using semi-structured interviews (n = 52) with rock fishers of varying experience, this study explores the visual cues that activate a fisher's response to an anti..

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Grants

Awarded by Surf Life Saving Australia


Funding Acknowledgements

We would like to thank the Australian Research Council Linkage Program and our partnership with Surf Life Saving Australia (LP130100204). We also would like to thank Kharis Lianto and other members of the rock fishing community for their participation and ongoing help with this research.