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Rough seas danger

Tuesday, December 17 2013

FISHERMEN and lifeguards report no damage to the beaches, facilities or boats despite the rough seas over the past few days. The TT Meteorological Service (TTMS) has been issuing Rough Sea Bulletins since Friday last around midday.

Choppy seas, with wave heights below one metre in sheltered areas and in excess of three metres in open waters have been attributed to strong low-level winds affecting the Eastern Caribbean islands. The Bulletins ask persons residing along the north and east coastlines to be alert for “above normal sea conditions,” especially as conditions may become aggravated during high tides. Sea bathers, small craft operators and other marine interests were advised to exercise caution.

A meteorologist at the TTMS stated the seas were usually rough at this time of year because of strong winds in the lower levels of the atmosphere. He said the winds may subside by the end of this week, but that it would be a while before the seas return to normal. Instead he expects the sea to pulse from moderate to rough for a while longer.

Maracas Bay lifeguard, Phillip Rodney yesterday told Newsday that the seas were rough with constant waves about three metres high. In addition to the rough waters, he said, there have been strong currents pulling out towards the sea, as well as a number of rip tides moving west to east. He said the lifeguards were advising bathers to go no further than waist high water, and those who are not strong swimmers, stay on the sand.

Stanley Chin, a Maracas fisherman said, “The water is just choppy with a few big waves when the tides change. It was bad last week, but then it calmed down on Thursday and Friday and got rough again on Saturday.”

He noted that several fishermen who fish with nets were still going into the water to fish. He assured there was no erosion on the beaches or damage to boats.

Balandra fisherman, Trevor Mahadeo, said fishermen in his area were experiencing rough seas as well and so most of the fishermen had “pull up” their boats. He too noted that they expected the seas to be rough because of high winds in early December and so it was expected.

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