GARDEN ROUTE DISTRICT NEWS - Wave heights between 6m and 7m are expected between Cape Agulhas and Plettenberg Bay tomorrow (Friday).
Severe weather alerts for heavy rainfall were also issued by the neighbouring municipalities to the West (Overberg District Municipality).
Storm surges / High Seas
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.
Dangerous waves or surges may also be caused by storm surges and tsunamis, resulting in widespread coastal damage and loss of life.
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 and secure all hatches, doors, windows and ports. Secure all loose items in the interior.
Pump the bilges 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 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.
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