MET office cautions against unfavourable weather from June 19

Maldives Meteorological Service (Met Office) has cautioned against scattered showers with few thunderstorms from June 18–21. The Met Office has also warned against strong winds and moderate seas, with wave heights between 3–7 feet.

While Maldivians have always heavily relied on sea travel, numerous individuals have travelled across the nation to various islands to celebrate the Eid al-Adha holidays. Of these, several people have also started their return journeys. These trips usually increase during the Eid holidays and school holidays.

One of the most important things to consider before leaving for trips is to check the weather forecast, especially in situations of bad weather. In such situations, it is crucial to ensure that the route between your destination and your departure is safe to travel by sea after checking the latest weather updates from the Met Office. Several tragic incidents have already occurred in recent years due to travelling without being cautious of weather conditions.

Secondly, travellers must also ensure the vessel or aircraft is suitable for the journey and is equipped with the necessary safety equipment. As such, the transports must have life jackets, communication devices and must meet the set safety standards.

If an incident takes place during unfavourable weather conditions, it will challenge rescue operators to provide assistance efficiently and expeditiously.

Statistics related to various incidents that have occurred in the sea indicates that the most common issue is engine malfunctions. Hence, it is vital to check that vessels have enough fuel for the journey and to ensure regular maintenance of engines, to prevent such incidents. Additionally, it is also important to make meal arrangements for long journeys.

Several operations and programmes are carried out on all holidays to ensure the safety and security of seafarers and vessels. Furthermore, regular inspections of vessels are being conducted by the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) Coast Guard and information sessions and programmes have been held on precautions and measures required to strengthen safety.