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Lifeguard emergency drills to be increased

Swimmers should wear the proper beach wear at all times

Gulf News

Dubai:Authorities plan to carry out regular beach evacuation drills to prepare staff in dealing with emergencies as the number of beachgoers is expected to increase during the cooler months.

“The beaches are most popular from 10am to 12pm, which is why we carried out the drill in that time. Beaches are frequently visited now as the temperature is comfortable now for visitors, and we expect them to increase,” said Eng Redha Salman, director of Public Health and Safety Department at Dubai Municipality.

The drill was carried out last Sunday at 10am in Al Mamzar Beach Park to establish a plan and know the capabilities of all parties involved when ensuring the safety of beachgoers, including police, civil defence and ambulance department, as well as the preparedness of lifeguards under bad weather conditions.

“Considering the number of people evacuated and the time consumed, the drill was a big success as the team could evacuate 2,000 beach users in 25 minutes with the help of sirens and signals given by the rescue team and police,” said Salman.

‘Through this drill, the civic body could identify the strengths and weaknesses of all parties involved in this process, and we will work together to improve our coordination by organizing more drills in various circumstances of disasters.

“Even if catastrophes rarely occur, we have to be prepared with our entire available resources, to use them properly and provide all staff with advanced training is very important,’ he explained.

Salman pointed out that the emergency and crisis plan includes 32 types of risk plans, which also includes emergency situations involving high waves and high tides.

According to Dubai Municipality statistics, the number of beachgoers totalled 3.397 million up until June 2012.

According to a statement by Ports Police, swimming is prohibited when the red flag is raised as the flag indicates high waves and strong water currents, and to swim with caution when the yellow flag is raised and follow the life guards’ instructions

“Swimming is prohibited after sun set, parents should watch their children at all times and should not allow them to swim alone or without wearing life jackets. Beach goers should learn about the weather and sea forecast beforehand, and obey the instructions on the signs posted along the beach,” a police spokesperson said in a statement.

He also emphasised that swimmers should wear the proper beach wear at all times to avoid accidents, and not to swim close to the rocks or outside of the safe zone.

Drivers who use their 4x4 vehicles on Dubai beaches are not allowed to drive fast, to be careful when driving and not endanger the lives of beach goers, follow the instructions on the signs posted along the beach, and obey the directions of police officers.