Despite the T&T Met Office’s warning of rough sea conditions, some intrepid sea bathers ventured into the Maracas Beach surf on Saturday.
The T&T Weather Centre also issued an advisory on Facebook for people heading along the North Coast Road, that there were several minor landslides and trees down, hindering the westbound lane of traffic between Saddle Road and Maracas Bay.
The centre also said to exercise extreme caution as strong winds intensified Saturday night into Sunday.
In its Hazardous Seas Alert (Yellow Level) on Thursday, the Met Office warned that waves in bays and beaches may reach up to three metres and near one metre in sheltered areas and choppy over the weekend.
The alert came into effect at 5 am Saturday through 8 am Monday.
Low-level winds were forecast to increase across the Southern Windwards beginning Friday night through the weekend causing rough seas across the eastern coastal waters.
In addition, long-period swells were slated to affect T&T’s northern and eastern coastlines between Friday and Monday, coinciding with peak winds.
T&T was not under any tropical storm threat, watch or warning.
Based on the latest model guidance and analysis, swell periods may range from ten-18 seconds beginning Friday night through Sunday night. These swells may be capable of producing large, dangerous breaking waves in bays, beaches, and other nearshore areas.
Coinciding with this swell event would be strong low-level winds, beginning Friday night through Monday morning, but peak winds were forecast last night into this morning. These winds will agitate seas, with waves averaging 2.5 metres, at times up to 3.5 metres in open waters.
Karl Hernandez, Patrol Captain in the Maracas Lifeguard Services Unit said “Lifeguards consider those waves moderate to rough, but more dangerous, the large ways will push you back in when someone dives below with the small waves, you end up in the backwash and current.
“I’m not telling people to not come to the beach, there is a heavy breeze, trees falling, rain. My advice is if you do have to come to the beach, try not to go into the water, if you must only go at least waist-high, you will still feel the current but you can return home safe with your family.
“Another place to consider is that the Las Cuevas lifeguard towers are dilapidated and lifeguards are leaving at noon, the seas are rough, a villager had to rescue someone in difficulty on Friday.”
He said lifeguards’ jet skis and ATVs (all-terrain vehicles) went to service and were auctioned off, so they only have flotation rescue cans to help bathers in distress.