THE Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) and the National Security Ministry have advised the public to be careful at beaches and rivers over Carnival.
In statements on Friday and yesterday, the ODPM said the Meteorological Office has issued rough seas bulletins which indicate that sea conditions are likely to be adverse, especially along the north and east coasts of Trinidad.
Current sea conditions are moderate but occasionally rough, with waves reaching three metres, occasionally choppy in sheltered areas. Similar conditions will continue for the next 24 to 48 hours as a result of relatively strong surface winds. Marine conditions are expected to become more agitated especially along the north and east coasts.
In sheltered areas, choppy seas may be experienced. These adverse sea conditions are forecast to continue into next week.
Citizens (particularly those living in coastal areas), sea bathers, beach campers, fisherfolk, small-craft operators and other people with marine interests are advised to be vigilant over the Carnival weekend.
Among the beach safety tips offered by the ODPM are: stay calm if caught in a rip current, stay at least 100 feet away from jetties and piers because permanent rip currents exist near these structures, and avoid swimming after heavy meals.
In a separate statement, the ministry said sea bathing is recommended at beaches patrolled and serviced by lifeguards between 10 am to 5.30 pm.
The ministry also offered some safety tips for people who may go to rivers over Carnival. These include: be aware of any sudden change of depth in the river bed; do not jump or dive into water where you cannot see the bottom (there may be dangerous projections underwater); the faster the river flows, the deeper the river bed gets; and clean, clear water could fool you into thinking that it is shallower than it really is.