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Search for missing diver continues off coast of The Palm Jebel Ali

By Staff

Dubai Police has confirmed that the search for an Arab diver who went missing on January 2 is still underway in international waters.

Major General Khamis Mattar Al Mazeina of Dubai Police stated that the search for the missing diver is being conducted about 22 nautical miles from The Palm Jebel Ali, in coordination with coast guards.

He said in an official statement that Dubai Police began the search operations immediately upon receiving the news from the control room last Wednesday.

Marine and air rescue teams launched the search immediately, despite the changing weather with the wind speed and currents in the bottom of the sea causing waves up to between five and eight feet.

Visibility was also reduced to four feet, while divers combed the area by dividing themselves into groups and are still continuing the search.

Major General Al Mazeina said it is a hobby for people to dive without the use of oxygen and means of safety.

The missing Algerian national, as identified by Associated Press, was wearing a vest weighing about six pounds to help him to get quickly to the bottom of the sea, which is thought to have made it difficult for him to rise to the surface of the sea.

AP has identified the missing diver as Adel Ait-Ghezala, who was with his wife and friends when he went free diving with two other friends, wearing only a wetsuit, flippers, goggles and a specialised watch.

The group was spearfishing.

His wife Rana Ghaleb said her 35-year-old husband never emerged from the water.

Ait-Ghezala is a PhD student at the American University in Washington DC.

The couple was visiting Dubai from their home in the United States.