Posted on July 11, 2016

Holiday makers who go to the beaches should be adequately cautious about the nature of the sea and the tides to avoid death by drowning, Dr Hamid Ahmed Gharib, medical supervisor at the Sealine Medical Clinic of Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) and consultant at HMC’s Medical Administration Department, has said.

His warning came after an Indian man drowned while picnicking near the Khor al-Udeid last week. “Several of my friends have told me that certain areas of the Sealine beach can be very tricky at times. People have to be very watchful of the tides and be very vigilant about different movements of the sea. This will help in taking the right step in case of any unexpected and adverse changes of the sea level,” he said. Dr Gharib said that he had not come across any drowning case at the Sealine clinic during the entire period of the last season. “No drowning case was reported at the clinic during the camping season this year. During every camping season, we run the clinic from late October to mid- April .”

Another safety expert who has worked as a lifeguard at several beaches abroad, cautioned that people should always take care of the water level at the beaches. “On several occasions, I have noticed that the water level at the beaches suddenly going up due to the changes in the tides. It is a practice for people to venture all the way to the deeper parts of the sea when the water level is very low. If they find that the water level is going up they should immediately return to the shore rather than moving forward.” He also pointed out that people must avoid swimming in the sea at odd hours, however convenient and safe they may feel. “People must avoid late night hours on various counts. One reason is it might be difficult to rescue people in case of a mishap. Moreover, not many skilled people might be at hand to provide the necessary help during such hours. Similarly you must avoid such places which are less visited by people.”

He also noted that people must first be aware of the location and area that they have chosen to swim.“You must have an idea about the sea level as well as the depth of the area you are swimming in. If you are not an expert swimmer, never venture into the deep areas. Such people should always confine themselves to the shallow areas of the beach and avoid the areas where water levels are high. Similarly, small children should not be taken to the deeper area of the beaches.” One resident recalled an incident and said: “ A couple of years back, I was swimming at one of the beaches with my nephews. Suddenly, I felt being pulled deeper into the sea and there was some kind of wheezing sound that was reverberating. I was in the shallow area of the beach and I suddenly turned back and walked to the shore. You have to be always careful about the behaviour of the sea water as the tides might change any time.”

source: Gulf Times