Safety Director’s Tip Feb 19, 2016

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This topic contains 1 reply, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Bob Pastor 2 years, 1 month ago.

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    Bob Pastor

    Watch the weather to plan for safe diving. I have found two web sites to be very helpful. and Storm (an iphone app). Use daily forecast when more than 3 days out and switch to hourly forecast when time gets closer. Avoid being on the sea when there is lightning and or severe weather forecast.

    Most of the time wind waves can be estimated by direction and velocity of the wind. Usually wind forecasts are good 3-4 days out. West winds create calm conditions near shore where we dive. In the winter however ,west winds are often accompanied by cold days. So plan to bundle up between dives.

    Also on west wind days captains should be ready to drop anchor quickly if engines won’t start to avoid being blown out to sea.

    For east winds expect relatively calm seas for 5-10 knots winds and 2-4 ft waves for 10-15 knots winds. When east winds are 15-20 knots things start to get dicey with waves ranging fro 4-6 ft.

    Over 20 knots east winds consider rescheduling your dive to go another day.

    The exception to the above are swell waves which can be generated by distant major storms and or strong NW winds (25 knts+). Use beach cams to check for swell.

    Waves can increase in size over sand bars and on outgoing tides at inlets. This is known as shoaling of the wave. As the velocity of the wave slows the energy is converted to wave height. This is especially true of swell waves. Captains leaving the inlet on an incoming tide with moderate seas can be surprised by huge shoaling waves when they come back in after the dives on an outgoing tide. Captains should consider the tides when planning the trip.

    I suggest all on board wear a life vest when hazardous wave conditions are being traversed at the entrance of an inlet.


    Bob Pastor

    Thanks Tom. This info is invaluable.

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