The National Parks Trust has ordered the closure of all beaches under its control in the British Virgin Islands (BVI).
The move comes as the Antigua and Barbuda Meteorological Service issued a warning against currently dangerous sea conditions including gale force winds, high surf, and rip currents.
“Due to the high probability of these hazardous sea conditions, the National Parks Trust has announced that beaches under their management will be closed to bathers, swimmers, snorkelers and paddle boarders until further notice,” the Trust said while noting that Devil’s Bay, The Baths, and Spring Bay National Parks on Virgin Gorda will also be closed.
The agency added: “Permit-holding yachters may still use the moorings in the adjacent nearshore mooring field, but at their own risk. The terrestrial trails will still be open for hikers and sight-seers, but persons in the park must follow all instructions of the Trust wardens on duty.”
The National Parks Trust, in the meantime, said other north shore beaches may be closed and red flagged by this afternoon, January 10.
“Small craft operators should refrain from venturing out from shore due to the sea conditions, and persons should ensure that vessels are secured properly as rough seas could cause them to get loose and damage nearby property,” the Trust added.
“Businesses and tourism properties that operate close to shore – especially on the northern coasts – should secure properties and closely monitor coastal activity for high surge from waves that could potentially cause serious damage.”
The Antigua and Barbuda Meteorological Service, up to publication time, was reporting that sea conditions are producing swells of 6-8 feet (1.8 to 2.4 meters).
It added that sea conditions are expected to worsen going into Thursday, with the possibility of swells as high as 10 – 13 feet.
The conditions are said to be generated by an approaching frontal trough.
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