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Experts available to comment on ocean safety amid debate about NSW shark policy

UNSW Sydney < 1 mins read

There is debate about removal of shark nets at NSW beaches and what the acceptable level of risk is for ocean swimmers. 

Professor Rob Brander and Dr Amy Peden from the UNSW Beach Safety Research Group are available to comment on beach safety, particularly how rips and dangerous water conditions pose a much larger risk than sharks. 

Professor Brander is a beach safety researcher with over 35 years experience studying and monitoring coastal processes on beaches. His work aims to understand the physical-social interaction of beach hazards in order to reduce the incidence of drowning and injury on beaches and other coastal environments. Professor Brander can be reached at rbrander@unsw.edu.au.

Dr Amy Peden is an injury prevention researcher and leads a program of research that focuses on drowning prevention globally. Specifically her work focuses on highlighting the full burden of drowning, including improvements to global estimates and increasing awareness of the health system, economic and social impacts of non-fatal drowning. Dr Peden can be reached at a.peden@unsw.edu.au or 0432644318.

Quote that can be attributed to Dr Peden:

“While keeping swimmers safe from sharks is undoubtedly important, every year, significantly more people die or are rescued from drowning along the coast than are attacked or killed by sharks. It is vitally important that we invest in primary prevention and public education on drowning risk reduction. This includes communicating and facilitating the need to swim between the red and yellow flags at patrolled beaches during patrol times, learning how to spot a rip and knowing what to do if you are caught in one, and keeping an eye on our children at the beach.”

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