Sunday, September 24
03:36 AM

Call for caution as more drowning cases reported in Oman


Muscat – The Civil Defence and Ambulance Authority (CDAA) has urged people to be cautious, follow safety measures and avoid hazards while swimming following an increase in the number of cases of drowning. Experts say there is high likelihood of drowning among children if left unsupervised.

On Thursday, rescue teams of CDAA in South Batinah responded to a drowning report of a family of five people at Sawadi Beach in Barka; three of them lost their lives. ‘The father and two children died in the accident, while the mother and one child were rescued,’ CDAA stated.

In another incident on Thursday, rescue teams responded to a drowning incident of a child in Ain Sahalnot in Salalah. The teams managed to rescue the child who is now in good health.

Last week, a citizen drowned in Wadi Darbat and was declared dead on arrival at a hospital.

‘People going out for adventure trips and swimming in wadis must follow guidelines, including wearing life jackets and going out only with well-known tourism companies who provide the necessary equipment. We urge parents to teach their children to swim,’ a CDAA official said.

Last year in Oman, more than 500 drowning accidents were reported, recent statistics reveal.

A report by CDAA said that water rescue teams dealt with 521 calls of drowning accidents in 2021. ‘Swimming requires caution and should not be carried out in undesignated sites,’ it warned.

A swimming expert based in Muscat said that because of lack of parents’ awareness, children are left unsupervised, which is one of the main factors that significantly increases the risk of drowning.

“As Oman is blessed with long coastline and a number of wadis, incidents of drowning in the country are quite common and such incidents occur mostly in the summer months,” he said.

CDAA has issued guidelines to prevent drowning incidents. ‘Keep an eye on children when they are swimming or getting close to water, swim in designated places, check the flow of water when crossing wadis, and make sure that one can swim before entering a body of water,’ CDAA stated.

‘Swimming pools should be equipped with fixed steps and metal handles and do not swim in places where water levels are constantly rising,’ it added.

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