Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 23 January 2020

Watch: man trapped in flooded RAK wadi airlifted to safety from roof of car

The stranded motorist was rescued by RAK Police's air wing unit

A man stranded on the roof of his car was rescued from a flood-hit wadi in Ras Al Khaimah. Courtesy: RAK Police
A man stranded on the roof of his car was rescued from a flood-hit wadi in Ras Al Khaimah. Courtesy: RAK Police

A man was airlifted to safety from the roof of his car after being trapped in fierce flash floods in Ras Al Khaimah.

RAK Police's air wing helicopter swooped in to rescue the stricken motorist on Sunday after his vehicle was submerged in a wadi swollen by days of torrential rain.

The Emirati man, who police said was in his twenties, had clambered to the top of his vehicle as it was swiftly immersed in rising water levels at Wadi Al Beeh.

Police shared dramatic footage of the daring operation on social media, showing the force helicopter hovering inches above the car before touching tentatively down on the rooftop in order to allow the man to climb on board.

“The rescue team, led by Colonel Pilot Saeed Al Yamahi, head of RAK Air Wing, managed to fly the helicopter near the vehicle and save the man from being swept away by the strong current and moved him to safety,” RAK Police said in a statement.

During the past weekend, the National Ambulance Communications Centre received 565 calls from the Northern Emirates prompted by the storms that lashed the country on Friday and Saturday.

The centre said it witnessed a 13 per cent increase in the number of emergency reports received during the unstable weather conditions last weekend compared to their avarge number of calls.

“393 calls required an ambulance to be dispatched, 95 calls were related to traffic accidents, one of which required the activation of the Minister of Interior Air Wing,” said Ahmed Al Hajeri, chief executive officer of the National Ambulance.

RAK's public works department said that more than 7 million gallons of rainwater had been drained in the emirate since ‎Thursday.‎

The department dealt with 538 water accumulation reports between Thursday and Sunday along with 47 reports regarding landslides, 19 reports about collapsed roads, seven for tree fall incidents and one about a falling lamppost.

“A team of 184 employees was working around the clock to deal with the received reports while the department has deployed 44 tankers and distributed 42 mobile and fixed water pumping stations throughout the emirate,” said the department in a statement.

The tankers have made 1,511 trips during the past four days.

Updated: January 13, 2020 12:26 PM

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