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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 September 2018

Dubai Police rescue tourist in Hatta

Tourist guides police to his location in Hatta Dam with Google Earth

Hatta: Rainfall is captured in the Hatta Dam - Paolo Rossetti for The National
Hatta: Rainfall is captured in the Hatta Dam - Paolo Rossetti for The National

A tourist who lost his way while hiking in Hatta was rescued by Dubai Police last night after sharing his location with them using Google Earth.

The tourist had ascended the mountain range alone yesterday afternoon near Hatta Dam to enjoy “the beautiful mountainous view” from the top. After three hours he got tired and nauseous so he decided to rest, explained Lt Col Ahmad Atiq Burqibah, deputy chief of search and rescue at Dubai Police.

“But then it got dark and he lost the trail,” he said.

The tourist called the police saying he was lost, tired and needed help.

“We asked where he was exactly but he did not know any details, so we asked him to send his location coordinates through Google Earth,” said Lt Col Burqibah.

The hiker managed to share his location before he lost reception.

“We tried to call him twice after but we could not reach him,” said Lt Col Burqibah. “So we immediately formed a team, we defined where exactly he was on the map, and he turned out to be between UAE and Oman. We called our immediate response teams in Hatta and they asked that we send them back up from Dubai.”

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They commissioned police officers from Hatta familiar with the area’s geography to accompany them.

“When we go on search missions in mountainous areas in Hatta, Oman or Ras Al Khaimah we ask local guides who know how to follow tracks to join us," he said.

Rescuers used two inflatable boats to cross the dam and reach the tourist.

“We normally have boats at the Hatta station and we have an entire team for water rescue, especially now that winter is approaching,” added Lt Col Burqibah.

The tourist was in good health.

The entire operation took an hour and 40 minutes.

“Thank God this person knew how to send his location,” said Lt Col Burqibah. “Search missions become much harder when we cannot identify where the person is.”

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