Aarushi Singh, 24, died on Thursday when she was taking a basic scuba diving lesson off the fishing harbour in Jumeirah. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The parents of an Indian woman who died during a scuba diving lesson in Dubai while on holiday here are devastated by the loss of their only child, a family member told Gulf News.

Aarushi Singh, 24, died on Thursday after she was pulled from a depth of three to four metres off the fishing harbour in Jumeirah where she was taking a basic scuba diving lesson with an instructor, according to Prateek Singh, the woman’s uncle.

On Monday, Singh told Gulf News: “My sister and brother-in-law want to take Aarushi back home and that is the only thing we are all working towards right now.”

Aarushi, who, according to her family, was a “bubbly, enthusiastic and affectionate” young woman, was the only child of Paresh and Neeta Singh.

She was working towards a degree in chartered accountancy in Mumbai, India, and came to Dubai on August 15 on a holiday to spend time with her uncle, aunt and cousin.

Her father, who joined her in Dubai on August 18, did not mind when Aarushi expressed her desire to try scuba diving for the first time.

Singh said: “When my brother-in-law had come a few years ago we had spent a beautiful day scuba diving in Fujairah which has clear waters. No one had the time to drive to Fujairah so we decided to do the sport here.”

On Thursday morning, Aarushi accompanied her father and cousin.

Singh recounted: “There were three others in the group. Aarushi asked her father to get drinking water from Sunset Mall as she said she would need water as soon as she came out.”

However, things “happened so quickly that by the time her father returned he saw an ambulance on the beach and his daughter being resuscitated on the spot. She never regained consciousness. A doctor who accompanied the ambulance certified her dead on the spot”.

The family is devastated by the incident and in no condition to make any kind of statement, the uncle said.

Aarushi’s mother flew from Mumbai on a 96-hour visa and is inconsolable, Singh said.

“We are desperate to get back her body so that my sister and her husband can take her home. That is all we ask for,” said Singh.

Another family member who was at the spot questioned how scuba diving was allowed at a spot where the water was so “murky and the visibility so poor”.

“How can an institute send one instructor with four amateurs? Despite the water being just three to four metres deep, this incident happened because it might have taken a while to locate a drowning person with such poor visibility,” he said.

A longtime dive instructor in Dubai told Gulf News the loss of life was tragic and warned prospective dive students that they must do full background checks on diving companies.

“You need to look for a trustworthy diving centre with a good safety record,” he said. “It’s about safety, it’s about the quality of training.”

The instructor said that those taking basic diving courses should be given a proper guide booklet that covers the basic safety elements of diving long before they ever hit the water.

He said proper diving instructors never take beginners directly into the water without solid safety background preparation study and classes.