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Coastal Services

Beach Services

Rip current detection and prediction: safer beaches

An undertow current risk assessment and prediction tool has been developed to improve beach safety during the bathing season. TIMEX rectified images of the beach are sent to a web application with access for lifeguards to better monitor the rip and rip current zone and the morphology of sand bars. These images are also used to obtain the bathymetry of the wave break zone, which is used to predict circulation patterns using numerical models.

This information on current currents and current forecasts is transmitted to the lifeguard teams at the beach.

People density on the beach

A tool has been developed to measure occupancy density on beaches, using machine learning algorithms. In the context of COVID-19, this tool was adapted to provide real-time information on beach occupancy, in order to ensure compliance with the recommendations for beach capacity. The solution consists of an automated algorithm that measures the level of occupation in real time from the images of the network and displays the information through a mobile app (Nik Hondartzak). The information is simultaneously sent to the beach managers, who control access to the beach to ensure the recommended occupancy levels. This information is also used at the end of the season to evaluate beach attendance and describe usage patterns.

In the summer of 2024 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria has joined this technology by launching the LPA Beach application to provide real-time information on tides, occupancy, weather and services available on the beaches of Las Canteras, La Laja and Las Alcaravaneras.




  • Epelde, I., Liria, P., de Santiago, I., Garnier, R., Uriarte, A., Picón, A., Galdrán, A., Arteche, J.A., Lago, A., Corera, Z., et al., 2021. Beach carrying capacity management under Covid-19 era on the Basque Coast by means of automated coastal videometry. Ocean & Coastal Management 208, 105588.