Girl Scout troops teamed up with the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium and The Jersey Shore Partnership Foundation to promote awareness on rip current among swimmers. To do this, they are using no less than quick response codes.
The QR codes can be found on signs posted along the shores of Cape May, Monmouth, Ocean and Atlantic County. More specifically, the codes were printed on stickers, which were then placed on the rip current signage that the NJSGC has already posted.
New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium’s director of education, Claire Antonuccis, said that the Girl Scouts first learned about rip currents hazards and how to take safety precautions before starting on their QR code campaign and putting up the signage. She added that after conducting the education programs for the girl, they went out and educated the people in their communities. They did presentations, created a video for YouTube, and even entered two sandcastles into local contests.
Through the QR codes incorporated into the signs, the Girls Scouts believe that it would be much easier to spread the information about rip tides.
For those who are not familiar with it, a rip tide or a rip current is a strong channel of water that flows seaward from near the shore. According to Wikipedia, rip currents are caused when the wind and the waves push the water toward the shore and the water is forced sideways by the oncoming waves then streams along the shoreline until it finds an exit back to the open sea.
Walter Drag, who is a weather service meteorologist from NOAA or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, this summer alone had seen five young swimmers drown due to the rip tides that pulled them under the water. He said that these deaths took place at unguarded beaches and during a time when the youngsters were expectedly not aware of the danger of rip currents.
The Girl Scout troops got financial support from TD Bank and JCP&L. The funds they received were used in the printing of Q code stickers.
People who scan these two dimensional matrix barcodes using their smartphones will be taken to the NJSGC website where they can read information about rip currents, as well as watch a video on how to recognize a rip tide and how to escape from it.
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