4 die at sea despite warning to stay off beaches

Picture used for illustrative purposes only. (FILE)

Four lives were lost off the coast of Dubai over the past few days, this despite several warnings issues by the authorities and the emergency services for people to stay away from beaches because of bad weather.

Three people reportedly drowned and one person died in a diving incident.

A 29-year-old American man drowned while fishing with his friends off an island near Dubai, a top police official said.

Speaking to Emirates24|7, Major Ahmed Bu Ruqaiba, Deputy Director-General, Dubai Police Rescue Department, said the man was fishing with five other friends.

“They went to Moon Island, which is about 20 nautical miles away from the emirate.

According to his friends, they are used to such a sport, and dive regularly without using any diving tools.

They use special guns underwater and catch fish.

On Friday, we received a complaint from the victims' friends at around 12pm.

They said he dived, but did not return to the surface for a long time.

And the worried friends called police for help. Our rescue team moved to the location, and after a two-hour search they found the victim’s body under water."

He said Dubai Police Morgue is checking for the reason of his death. However, initial investigations reveal he might have died from decompression sickness, or divers' disease.

This condition arises from dissolved gases coming out of solution into bubbles inside the body on depressurisation.

Swimmers drown

Three people drowned in Dubai over the weekend, while a couple of other near-misses were reported in the rough seas in the last few days.

On Friday afternoon a British man on holiday was pulled from the sea near Hilton Dubai Jumeirah Resort. A little later a second body, believed to be a European man in his mid-40s, was pulled from the surf nearby.

The British Consulate in Dubai has confirmed that both men who drowned at a beach in Dubai are British nationals.

A consulate spokesperson told Emirates 247 that the bodies would soon be flown back to the UK. “We are in constant touch with  families of the victims. The bodies are still in Dubai and will be flown back to the UK soon,” said the spokesperson.

A witness who was at the scene said the victim was pulled out 'lifeless'.

According to Rashid Hospital sources it received two men dead on arrival.

Meanwhile, Dubai Police Rescue Operations and Dubai Municipality officials have ordered the beach to be closed to swimmers.

Dubai Municipality sources said there have been several near-drowning cases of late due to the undercurrents.

Despite the rough conditions and strong currents, people continued to enter the water throughout the afternoon. The public beach runs parallel to The Walk and is unmanned by lifeguards, apart from stretches in front of hotels.

According to police sources a third person also drowned near the Burj Al Arab.

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