Coastal and beach planners/managers are starting to use risk assessment techniques (for hazards, vulnerability and suchlike) when faced with complex multidisciplinary problems that have to be solved in short time periods (DoE, 1995). With respect to emergency management in a bathing environment, hazards are considered as sources of damage, and damage reduction is the core of hazard mitigation, defined as the cost-effective measures taken to reduce the potential for damage on a community from the hazard impact. In simple terms, humanity is generally ignorant about its vulnerability (Latin vulnare – to wound), especially with respect to the adverse effects of water hazards. Therefore it behoves beach managers to utilize vulnerability assessment as a tool to reduce the potential for damage from impact of these hazards. Truly effective mitigation – hazard damage reduction – must be based on a clear understanding of the causes of damage gained by applying a vulnerability assessment methodology applicable regardless of the specific hazard type. Assessment takes place at three levels: hazard identification defines the magnitudes and probabilities of the hazard that threatens anthropogenic interests; vulnerability assessment characterizes the population exposed to the hazard and the damage/injuries resulting; and risk analyses incorporates the probability of damage/injury.