x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Water-skier missing after jetski collision

An air and sea operation was under way last night to find an 18-year-old waterskier.

DUBAI // An air and sea search was under way last night in a bid to find an 18-year-old Emirati water-skier who disappeared on Saturday after being struck by a jetski.

Maj Juma bin Darwish al Falasi, the Director of the Dubai Police Rescue Operations, said the man was waterskiing with friends near the Le Méridien Mina Seyahi hotel and collided with the jetski ridden by an Arab national.

Maj al Falasi said: "The boy's friends were late to contact police about the incident. Furthermore, their confusion about the location of the accident created more delays.

"However, we are continuing our efforts with divers, boats, jetskis and air rescue helicopters.

"We are fully equipped to handle the search and rescue and we have 120 registered rescue divers [on hand]."

On Friday afternoon a teenage boy drowned after being hit by a wave while swimming off the Khor Fakkan corniche.

The accident happened while the corniche was packed with visitors.

"Other swimmers at the beach saw him being washed away by a big wave a bit far from them," a police spokesman said. "They could not see him after the wave, and immediately an alarm sounded that contacted the police and coast guard."

Rescuers took more than three hours to find the boy's body, which was taken to Khor Fakkan hospital.

The teenager was not carrying identification and police are trying to find his relatives.

It was the third drowning in the Northern Emirates in the past two weeks following the deaths of two Emirati teenage brothers who drowned in a pit full of rainwater last month in the mountainous Basira al Jabaliya area of Fujairah.

The director of Sharjah Rescue Department said swimmers should be cautious and always follow the safety rules.The department rescued 541 people from the water and recovered 10 bodies last year, said Capt Rashid Yousif bin Sandal.

He also warned against people without training attempting a rescue on their own.

"For incidents like fire, drowning and gas accidents, if you don't know what to do, just stay away from the victim and call police," he said. "That would be your best rescue option, rather than having both yourself and the victim die."

ykakande@thenational.ae

amustafa@thenational.ae

- Additional reporting by Amna Al Haddad