Reck­less swim­mers are ig­nor­ing red flag

Warn­ing comes af­ter two drown as high waves and strong seas hit UAE hol­i­day

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE - @nawal_ramahi By Nawal Al Ramahi

Beach­go­ers have been told to stay out of the wa­ter in the com­ing days af­ter two peo­ple died in rough seas at the week­end.

The Na­tional Cen­tre of Me­te­o­rol­ogy and Seis­mol­ogy (NCMS) recorded 4-me­tre waves at one stage on Fri­day, while Dubai Mu­nic­i­pal­ity life­guards have raised red flags on the emi­rate’s beaches.

De­spite the warn­ing, swim­mers con­tinue to head out into the wa­ter, with some even ar­gu­ing with life­guards, a mu­nic­i­pal­ity of­fi­cial said.

The rough seas co­in­cide with the chang­ing of sea­sons and tem­per­a­tures drop­ping. This week is fore­cast to be 7-8C cooler than last week.

Tens of thou­sands of peo­ple are ex­pected to hit the beaches to­day to en­joy the na­tional hol­i­day.

And Ibrahim Mo­hammed Juma’a, the head of Dubai Mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s life­guard op­er­a­tions, said: “Peo­ple know that swimming when the red flag is fly­ing is dan­ger­ous, but many con­tinue to do so.

“And when a life­guard ap­proaches them to say the wa­ter is rough and it’s too dan­ger­ous to swim, they of­ten ig­nore them and even ar­gue.”

On Fri­day, an Egyp­tian man, 24, was res­cued af­ter he and his friend got into dif­fi­culty in the wa­ter off Al Khan beach in Shar­jah. His friend, a So­ma­lian in his twen­ties, was later found dead.

At sun­set on Fri­day, five men were res­cued af­ter get­ting into dif­fi­culty off Al Ham­riyah Beach in Shar­jah.

The men were taken to Khal­ifa Hospi­tal in Aj­man, but one, a Syr­ian na­tional in his 40s, could not be re­vived. Ma­jor Ali Ab­dul­lah Al Naqbi, Head of the Mar­itime Res­cue De­part­ment at Dubai Po­lice, added: “Most of the drown­ings we see are due to reck­less be­hav­iour in bad weather.” Al Naqbi added: “Be­fore head­ing into the sea, check the weather sit­u­a­tion, look out for the warn­ing flag and make sure to read the swimming guide­lines board.” Mo­hammed Rizwan, a mu­nic­i­pal­ity life­guard on Burj Beach, said: “Peo­ple should avoid swimming in the sea in the evening, they would be hard to see in an emer­gency.” An NCMS spokesman said the seas are fore­cast to be rough in the com­ing days. He said: “The sea has con­tin­u­ously been very rough and we have is­sued a warn­ing to stay away from the wa­ter. “The con­di­tions are ex­pected to re­main the same for the next two days. On Fri­day we had waves up to four me­tres - high and strong.”

HIGH TIDE: High waves in the wa­ters off Burj Beach yes­ter­day

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