Man rescued from Abu Dhabi desert on July 6, 2020
An elderly Emirati man was rescued from the Abu Dhabi desert on July 6, 2020. Image Credit: UAE National Search and Rescue Centre

Abu Dhabi: The UAE national search and rescue team saved a 62-year-old man who was stranded in the middle of the Abu Dhabi desert.

On July 6, the National Search and Rescue Centre received a distressed call reporting that an Emirati man had gone missing in the Al Fayah region.

In cooperation with Abu Dhabi Police, a helicopter was then dispatched to comb the site and the rescue team were able to successfully rescue the elderly man, whose car was found to have been stuck in the sand dunes.

SUV stuck in Abu Dhabi desert.
A worried family in Abu Dhabi called police after the 62-year-old man went missing in the desert. Image Credit: UAE National Search and Rescue Centre

The man, who was also suffering from suffering from a chronic illness and heart problems, was then airlifted to Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City for treatment.

How to drive safe

Follow these tips to ensure a safe drive in the desert:

1. The right car

You need a 4x4 vehicle, that is well inspected and maintained before you venture out.

2. The right equipment

Shovel, heavy duty towing ropes (or winch), tire compressor, proper car jack, wooden base board to place your car jack, and a spare tire.

3. Proper car insurance

4. Check the weather forecast before you go out and avoid the hot season

5. Never go out alone

You must always be more than one car, to be on the safe side, never ever go out with less than three cars. Cars can get stuck or experience technical failures and often other cars get stuck in rescuing efforts, so at least one car must not participate in those in order to be able to get help.

6. Driving skills

Learn in easy terrain, join a special driving course or join an off-road driving club, join friends and other experienced drivers. Experienced leader. You must have an experienced leader with you.

7. Plan your trip

Use the internet, off-road guides, off-road club information and inform others of when you plan to go out.

8. Essential equipment

Water. Mobile phones (ideally a satellite phone), a first aid kit, sun shade, sun block, proper clothing and hats/caps, proper firm shoes (no flip-flops), GPS/navigation system and/or proper maps, flags on long flexible sticks (so you are visible in dunes), as well as walkie-talkies are essential.

9. Driving

The experienced leader goes first and selects a route suitable for the group. Allow ample of distance between the cars. Deflate your tires as appropriate as it will help you a lot in soft sand, but avoid abrupt steering, since this could result in the tire coming off the rim. Wait often for the group to catch up. Use the special flags on long flexible sticks in dunes so you see where the other cars are. Use walkie-talkies in difficult terrain. Avoid driving in the dark.

Source: Road Safety UAE