Reckless swimmers are ignoring red flag
Warning comes after two drown as high waves and strong seas hit UAE holiday
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