Dubai: Dubai Municipality lifeguards have rescued on average more than two people every week from drowning at swimming pools and off beaches during the last three years, a municipality official has said.
An infant and an adult drowned during this period, the child due to parental negligence while the adult drowned in the early morning hours before the start of the lifeguards’ duty, the official explained.
Mohammad Abdul Rahman Al Awadi (left), director of Public Parks and Horticulture Department, said Dubai Municipality’s team of 45 lifeguards have managed to rescue 392 people from drowning over the last three years.
“These accidents took place at Al Mamzar Beach Park, Jumeirah Beach Park, Mushrif swimming pools and Hatta pool,” he said.
Al Awadi said there were three deaths in 2014 on Dubai beaches, however, not all were drowning cases.
“There were two cases of heart attacks [in Mamzar and Jumeirah Beach Park], and one drowning case that occurred before 5am when the lifeguards were still not on duty.
“Dubai Municipality has provided all requirements for rescue operations at beaches and swimming pools,” he said.
“We have recently also added an automatic recovery device that helps in reviving the victim’s heart immediately before the arrival of the ambulance team. This improves the chances by 60 per cent of saving the life of the person who was rescued from drowning.”
Lifeguards, he said, are provided with plenty of equipment, such as water bikes, jet skis, first aid kits, defibrillator and other medical equipment to handle emergencies successfully.
In related areas of the municipality’s operations, other categories of beach visitors such as the elderly and people with determination are also provided with facilities such as wheelchairs. “We have special water service chairs in the park that can be used at Al Mamzar beach daily. We also have 15 wheelchairs available for free,” he said, noting that up to 67 elderly people have expressed their happiness for the services afforded to them for swimming at the beach.
Al Awadi said that Dubai’s beaches have been rated among the cleanest and safest in the GCC.
Dubai Municipality treated 633 people for various injuries, such as wounds, sunstroke and stings from jellyfish, sea urchins and black oysters in the last three years.
Last year saw the highest number of rescue cases. “As many as 177 people were rescued from drowning in 2016, while in 2015, we saved 98 people and in 2014, 117 people.”
On Ladies’ Days, there were a total of 58 rescue cases over the last three years, which included 23 cases in 2014, seven cases in 2015 and 28 cases in 2016, Al Awadi said.