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ODPM Public Advisory Beach Safety - Oct 15, 2016
THE ODPM ADVISES CITIZENS TO BE VIGILANT OF ADVERSE SEA CONDITIONS IN COASTAL AREAS
The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) urges citizens to be vigilant and safe on the nations beaches. In a bulletin issued by the Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Services (TTMET) on Friday 14th October, 2016 at 4:00 p.m., long period swells generated by a disturbance in the Northern Atlantic Ocean are expected to affect the coastlines of both Trinidad and Tobago from early next week, possibly by Monday 17th October, 2016.
These long period swells may result in increased wave heights along the North coast of Trinidad and the sheltered coastlines of Tobago, resulting in battering waves. As such, there will be localised disruptions to sea bathing and nearshore coastal activities. Tobago will experience these effects earlier than Trinidad and conditions in both islands will worsen during high tide. Citizens, particularly those residing in coastal areas, fisher-folk, small craft operators, sea bathers and all other marine interests are asked to be on alert and exercise caution when on the nation’s beaches.
Consequently, we underscore the following seven simple tips for beach safety:
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 or inflatable ball – and yell instructions of how to escape the current.
6. When at the beach, check conditions before entering the water. Check to see if any warning flags are up or as 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.
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. Should you experience any emergencies, please contact our Customer Care Centre at 511 or 911 in Trinidad and 211 for the Tobago Emergency Management Agency (TEMA). For additional safety tips and information, check our website www.odpm.gov.tt, Social Media pages and our mobile application Disaster Ready.
The TT Meteorological Service is monitoring sea conditions and will advise the ODPM if the situation warrants.
Public Information, Education and Community Outreach Unit
For further information, please Call:
ODPM’s Customer Call Centre 511