Rip Tide Alarm
In the U.S. over 100 people a year drown in rip tides. Many more are saved by lifeguards who spot them just in time. Although the exact location of each rip tide usually varies along any particular beach, some beaches have them far more often than others.
Here's a better solution than letting people just take their chances. Lay a cable parallel to the beach offshore on the sandbars. Attach L-shaped buoys every 10 to 15 feet or so along the cable, with each side of the stem on the L painted a different color. Whenever the tide pulls every buoy in one direction a single color will be facing you. When a rip tide occurs the buoys caught in it will be pulled in the opposite direction and the bottom of the L, acting like a rudder, will turn them around so a different color faces you. That way you could stand on the beach and tell where the rip tides were just be looking for colors that were out of place.
Of course, once we can accurately see where the rip tides are taking place we'd have risk-takers start doing backwards bodysurfing (heading out to sea instead of into shore) but even they would be safer since they could see the spots where it would be easier to swim back in.
Rip Tides #1
Rip Tides #2