How Dubai Police’s marine rescue department keeps danger at bay
Dubai: A Filipina tourist, Yao Long, recently dropped her mobile phone in Hatta Dam while taking pictures of the scenic landscape, a popular attraction in Dubai’s rugged enclave.
After seeking the help of Dubai Police, divers from the Ports Police Station, Marine Rescue Department, promptly showed up at the location. Within minutes, they retrieved her phone.
Brigadier Dr Hassan Suhail Al Suwaidi, Director of the Ports Police Station in Dubai, told Gulf News in exclusive interview that the Command-and-Control Centre of the General Department of Operations had received a report on November 15 at 11.47am from a tourist in Hatta area in which she stated that her smartphone had slipped from her hand into the water while she was standing on the edge of the floating pier and photographing the landscape.
The woman was obviously upset over the loss of her phone. To make the tourist happy, rescue divers from the Ports Police Station, Marine Rescue Department, recovered the phone by diving to the depth of the dam.
This was done within a few minutes, which left an impressive impression on the tourist.
She narrated how happy she was with the service she received from Dubai Police, without any charges, and expressed her gratitude for the efforts of the police officers and the role of the rescuer divers in helping the public.
Brig Al Suwaidi urged community members that they should exercise caution when standing on the edge of a dam or any other place exposed to danger.
“People must place their mobile phones in safe places, away from the edge of the dam, the floating dock, or while engaging in sports and marine activities that require physical movement or any other activity,” he said.
The incident is just one among hundreds the team solves year-round.
Brig Al Suwaidi said the Dubai Police Maritime Rescue Unit executed 375 maritime operations and attended to nine marine accidents since the beginning of 2023.
Hatta city recorded 11 reports including people trapped in a valley, removing vehicles stuck in a valley.
Meanwhile, the number of maritime tasks of the Marine Rescue Department since the beginning of 2023 reached 375 including search and recovery, assistance requested, internal support and coverage of marine events.
The department recorded 22 criminal reports; and 17 reports of deaths and five injury reports.
Brig Al Suwaidi confirmed their readiness to ensure the safety and the security of Dubai beaches and waters. “We are ready to deal with emergencies on the beaches and we are alert to respond appropriately to any form of accidents,” he said.
Brig Al Suwaidi called on beachgoers to adhere to safety warnings and comply with advisories related to maritime currents. “If the flag is red then it is not allowed to swim due to rough conditions of the sea and high waves. People should follow safety instructions.”
Brig Al Suwaidi explained that the department is providing their female teammates more comprehensive tasks, more courses and full marine missions including rescue, diving, and first aid.
“We try to give them a great degree of academic knowledge in addition to practical training,” he said.
The department frequently carries out awareness initiatives for people in cooperation with partners, especially during periods of weather fluctuations to avoid drowning incidents. A specialised rescue team of divers in Hatta deal with cases that occur during flooded valleys, and recovering lost items from valleys and dams.
The department has opened a modern marine operations room to monitor all beaches and marine missions and operations. It is operated by using Artificial intelligence in coastal surveillance.
The operations room was established less than a year ago based on the directives of the Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police. Also, drones are used to monitor the coasts.