GARDEN ROUTE NEWS - Garden Route residents are warned that their coastline could be hit with heavy seas from Thursday to Friday.
A severe early weather warning was sent out by the South African Weather Services earlier today.
High seas with wave heights of 6 to 7m are expected between Cape Point and Cape Agulhas during Thursday and late morning spreading to Cape Columbine and Plettenberg Bay during the afternoon and subsiding during Friday.
"Generally heavy seas or damaging waves are a result of strong winds blowing over a large area called a fetch combined with low pressure systems. Long period swells are often very dangerous to tankers as they may literally snap them in half."
Disaster management manager Gerhard Otto advised locals to take precaution.
Precautions: Storm surges / High Seas
Ships should “idle” into the swell and wind so that the bow of the ship always faces the oncoming swell. If in a small sailing vessel reduce the sail area and steer into the oncoming swell. If along the shore-line stay well back from the highest high water mark as Secure all hatches, doors, windows and ports. Secure all loose items in the interior.
Pump the bilge's dry and keep pumping them dry at regular intervals. Stow away all loose gear and lash down any large items that cannot be stowed. Break out your life preservers and inform your crew that everyone will be putting them on well in advance of their necessity.
Break out emergency gear like flares and first aid kit, sea anchor, safety harnesses, etc.
Check your position and update your course as plotted on your chart. Prepare alternative routes to more protected areas.
If you think you will be in for a relatively long haul, prepare some hot soup, coffee or stew - freak waves may run up beyond the normal high water mark.
If the sea recedes exposing rock and sea bed normally not exposed immediately seek higher ground at least 50m above your current position. Do not try swimming or fishing or other marine recreation during these events. Only extremely experienced surfers will temp their fate under these conditions.
Listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from disaster management.
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