x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Man in critical condition after rescue from Dubai's Jumeirah beach

The African man was dragged from sea after almost drowning at Jumeirah Open Beach.

DUBAI // A man was in critical condition in Rashid Hospital last night after being rescued from Jumeirah Open Beach.

People at the beach alerted authorities after the man, from an African country, was seen struggling in the water about 6pm.

The accident comes after a part of Sharjah's main beach was closed to the public because of drownings this year.

Authorities have put up barriers in the emirate to block swimmers from the water after it was deemed too dangerous.

The ban is expected to be in place throughout the summer and possibly longer.

A rescue scooter was sent out yesterday to save the man, who had come close to drowning.

"There was a rescue water scooter nearby on the same beach," said Lt Col Ahmed Atiq Burqibah, deputy director of the Dubai search and rescue department.

"After four minutes the rescue scooter was at the scene and rescued the victim."

Four drownings have been recorded in Dubai in the first four months of this year.

About 23 people died last year and 64 in 2011.

Last month, two Indian nationals - C Rijesh, 31, a paint mixer, and CP Shinil, 26, an accountant - drowned at the same beach.

They had been swimming for an hour with three friends on the weekend when they got into difficulties in strong currents.

Lt Col Burqibah said accidents were common in May and June because of weather changes, although regular police patrols and red flags were present to warn people of the dangers.

"The current can be very strong and so a swimmer must be skilled enough to handle it, and some accidents are caused by some people's failure to pay attention to signs," Lt Col Burqibah said.

He said Dubai would not close any of its beaches like Sharjah, despite the recent accidents.

"People like to swim and have fun. The problem is some people ignore the rules, red flags and warnings."

pkannan@thenational.ae