Be careful: Adverse sea conditions during the Carnival weekend 2018

The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) urges citizens to be vigilant and safe on the nation’s beaches. The Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Services (TTMET) has issued Rough Seas Bulletins indicating that sea conditions are expected to gradually deteriorate and become more agitated as surface winds are likely to strengthen over the Carnival Weekend.

TTMET advised that current sea conditions are moderate occasionally rough with wave heights reaching 2.5 meters (approximately 8 feet) occasionally 3.0 meters (approximately 9 feet) in open waters and near 1.0m meters (approximately 3 feet) in sheltered areas. Similar conditions will continue for the next 24 to 48 hours as a result of relatively strong surface winds.

Marine conditions from Saturday 10th February, 2018 are expected to become more disturbed with wave heights in open waters reaching 3.0m and above, especially along north and east coasts. In sheltered areas, choppy seas may be experienced. These adverse sea conditions over the weekend are forecast to persist into next week.

Citizens, particularly those residing in coastal areas, fisher-folk, small craft operators, sea bathers, beach campers and all other marine interests are asked to be on alert and exercise caution.

Consequently, the ODPM will like to remind citizens of the following beach safety tips:

1. If you are caught in a rip current, stay calm and don’t fight the current.

2. Swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the current. Once you are free, turn and swim toward the shore.

3. If you feel you cannot make it to the shore, draw attention to yourself by waving and calling for help.

4. Stay at least 100 feet away from piers and jetties, because permanent rip currents often exist near these structures.

5. If someone is in trouble in the water get help from a lifeguard; if a lifeguard is not available, have someone call 811, 999 or 511 in Trinidad and 211 in Tobago. Throw the victim something that floats – e.g. a life jacket, styrofoam cooler – and yell instructions of how to escape the current (see points 1 and 2).

6. When at the beach, check conditions before entering the water. Check to see if any warning flags are up or ask a lifeguard about water conditions, beach conditions or any

potential hazards.

7. Most importantly heed the warning whistles from the lifeguard, this can prevent you from entering rough waters.

8. Avoid swimming immediately after eating heavy meals.

The ODPM remains committed to building the resilience and ensuring the safety of all citizens of Trinidad and Tobago. We wish to remind you to take all necessary precautions to preserve life and property.

Citizens must also be responsible and promote cleanliness on the nation’s beaches and refrain from polluting the environment. Should persons experience any emergencies, please contact our Customer Care Centre at 511 or 999, 911 in Trinidad and 211 for the Tobago Emergency Management Agency (TEMA). For additional safety tips and information, check our website, Social Media pages and our mobile application Disaster Ready.

The TT Meteorological Service is closely monitoring sea conditions and will advise the ODPM if the situation warrants.


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