Water Safety Information

Whether it is the Easter, Summer, Christmas Holidays or a day on the beach its bring with them both fun and danger. Every year people have drowned during trips to beach, rivers and even swimming pools. The Trinidad and Tobago Life Saving Society, the San Juan/Laventille Regional Corporation Life Guards, and the Coast Guard have prepared these water safety tips for the public.

Water safety tips

They are
  • communicate with lifeguards about sea conditions
  • if there are no lifeguards, observe water conditions carefully or ask residents about safe bathing areas
  • alcohol and swimming never mix!
  • avoid areas where there are potholes, shifting sand and a brownish water discoloration
  • always supervise children in and around water
  • non- and weak swimmers should not venture into water higher than the waist
  • swimmers should swim parallel to shore
  • non- and weak swimmers should not use inflated devices in water
  • diving into unknown waters and rivers is dangerous
  • after eating, wait at least one hour before going into the water

  • article courtesy of Trinidad Express, April 12, 2001

    Play it safe at beaches, rivers

    Water safety tips
  • Swim near a lifeguard and don't swim alone.
  • Follow lifeguards' instructions.
  • Don't dive into waters you don't know. Feet first, first time.
  • If in trouble, call or wave for help.
  • Don't swim near trash or storm drains.
  • Swim in an even line with the shore if you want to swim a long way.
  • Don't swim after heavy rain.

    Play it safe at beaches, rivers
    Yvonne Baboolal | 8:07 pm
    Published: February 14th, 2009, Guardian

  • Ministry issues safety tips: Play it safe on beaches

    The Ministry of Tourism is urging citizens who plan to visit the beaches or rivers this Carnival season to practise caution.

    In a release, the ministry reminded parents about the importance of keeping children safe in water by following these precautions:
  • Children need constant supervision around water-whether the water is in a pool, pond, river, beach or bathtub.
  • Young children can drown in less than two inches of water. That means drowning can happen where you can least expect it-the sink, toilets, buckets or inflatable pools.
  • Always watch children closely when they are in or near water.
  • Do not trust inflatable rings, tubes or other floatation toys. These should be used only under adult supervision as a child can slide through or flip over.
  • If you have a pool at home, remove all toys when you are done so your child is not tempted to reach for a toy in the water.
  • Teach your children to swim but remember even a child who knows how to swim is still at risk for drowning.
  • Teach your children not to swim alone and to use a buddy system.
  • Teach your children to always swim when and where a lifeguard is present.
  • Teach your children if they are caught in a rip current or undertow, they should swim parallel to the shore or should tread water and call for a lifeguard's help.
  • Do not allow your children to swim during a lightning storm. Should the lightning hit the water your child will be electrocuted.
  • Never mix water and alcohol or other drugs.

    Beaches in Trinidad that are under lifeguard supervision between the hours of 10 am and 5 pm from Mondays to Sundays are Mayaro, Maracas, Manzanilla, Queen's Beach Salybia, Tyrico, Las Cuevas, Los Iros, Vessigny and Quinam. Beaches in Tobago are managed by the Tobago House of Assembly.

    Ministry issues safety tips: Play it safe on beaches
    Trinidad Guardian, Published: 12 Feb 2010

  • Hazardous Seas Alerts

    The public should, therefore, take note of the following:

    1. If sea conditions look dangerous, avoid entering the water;

    2. Avoid going to lonely and small beaches where you can be trapped or blocked from the exit route. At times the tide rises quickly, bringing with it powerful and forceful waves;

    3. Parents should be within armís reach of children at all times. When powerful waves wash to the shore children are pushed into rocks, logs or other objects and the backwash from the receding waves can sweep them out into deeper waters;

    4. Bathers should never overestimate their swimming ability and attempt to go towards these large waves;

    5. Visit the beaches patrolled by Lifeguards and for your safety listen and adhere to the advice of the Lifeguards at all times;

    6. Lifeguards patrol the beaches from 10 am to 5.30 pm on a daily basis. Bathe during these hours for your safety and pay close attention to the colour coded flags and other warnings issued from the Lifeguards on duty;

    7. Fishing from rocks or small jetties is dangerous and should be avoided as the new moon and the current spring tide could cause even larger waves;

    8. Large waves may also bring logs or other objects in the surf that could strike unsuspecting bathers endangering their lives;

    9. Avoid consuming alcohol while at the beach and while swimming. The consumption of alcohol causes balance, coordination and judgement to be impaired;

    10. Small marine crafts should listen to all safety advisories before going out to sea and ensure all safety gear and life jackets are worn by users of the vessels;

    11. If caught in a rip current DO NOT PANIC. Swim parallel to the shore and when you are out of the force of the current then swim towards the shore. If you are unable to swim: try to float on your back and wave your hand to attract attention. These conditions are expected to last for approximately one week and even after rough seas have calmed down, the rip currents usually remain very strong for a period of time.

    Lifeguards warn beachgoers in light of hazardous seas alert
    Loop News Created : 29 October 2019 T&T News

    Swimming tips to avoid shark attacks:

    1. Always swim in a group. Sharks most often attack lone individuals.

    2. Donít wander too far from shore. Doing so isolates you and takes you away from assistance.

    3. Avoid the water at night, dawn, or dusk. Many sharks are most active at these times and are better able to find you than you are to see them.

    4. Donít enter the water if youíre bleeding. Sharks can smell and taste blood, and trace it back to its source.

    5. Donít wear shiny jewellery. The reflected light looks like shining fish scales.

    6. Donít go into water containing sewage. Sewage attracts bait fish, which in turn attract sharks.

    7. Avoid waters being fished and those with lots of bait fish. Diving seabirds are good indicators of such activities.

    8. Donít enter the water if sharks are present. Leave immediately if you see them.

    9. Avoid an uneven tan and brightly coloured clothing. Sharks see contrast particularly well, so use extra caution when waters are cloudy.

    10. Donít splash a lot. Also, keep pets out of the water. Erratic movements can attract sharks.

    11. Use care near sandbars or steep drop-offs. These are favourite hangouts for sharks.

    12. Donít relax just because porpoises are nearby. Sightings of porpoises do not indicate the absence of sharks. Both often eat the same foods.

    13. Donít try to touch a shark if you see one.

    14. If attacked by a shark, the general rule is ďDo whatever it takes to get away!Ē Some people have successfully chosen to be aggressive, others passive. Some yelled underwater, others blew bubbles.

    ĖSource: Florida Museum

    Expert: Shark attacks in TT waters rare
    Darren Bahaw; Newsday, Monday, January 25, 2021

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