Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 September 2018

More than 100 maritime accidents recorded in Dubai last year

Dubai Police also said 61.6 tonnes of drugs smuggled through sea ports were seized

Dubai Police will deploy divers to clean Al Hamriya port, Dubai. Chris Whiteoak / The National
Dubai Police will deploy divers to clean Al Hamriya port, Dubai. Chris Whiteoak / The National

More than 100 maritime accidents were recorded in Dubai last year, mostly due to ignorance or disregard of maritime safety procedures and laws, Dubai Police have said.

“A total of 101 maritime accidents were recorded in Dubai, five of them were considered to be major," said Brig Abdul Qader Al Bannai, director of Dubai ports police station.

"Nine people sustained moderate to serious injuries.”

Brig Al Bannai said most of these accidents occured due to passengers’ disregard of maritime safety procedures and laws.

“Several vessels encountered mechanical problem and neglected to conduct regular maintenance. We advise vessels’ passengers to adhere to maritime safety precautions,” said Brig Al Bannai during a forum organised by Dubai Police about maritime crises and challenges.

The disregard of maritime safety measures has not been the only challenge faced by maritime police unit – dumping trash, receiving misleading emergency reports and smuggling prohibited substances on board ships were all mentioned at the conference.

A total of 61.6 tonnes of drugs were seized by forces in the UAE in 2017. Traffickers transport their drugs either by sea or land, according to Dubai Police.

On March 19, five people were arrested for allegedly smuggling more than 20 kilograms of heroin on board a commercial cruise ship, Dubai Police said.

All five men – a European, African and three Asians – entered the country separately and stayed in different hotel rooms. Their main target was to sell and circulate drugs.

It was not disclosed where the cruise came from.

Brig Eid Hareb, Dubai Police’s anti-narcotics department director, said: “The suspects confessed that they were planning to sell drugs in the country and revealed the head of the gang is African, and he lives in a European country.”

Brig Omar Al Shamsi, deputy director of the general department of operations at Dubai Police, said: “Drug traffickers use all types of methods, especially by sea, to smuggle narcotics.”