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Drowning claims 19 lives over 15 months in Oman
April 21, 2019 | 9:38 PM
by Times News Service
One of the major reasons for drowning is the lack of awareness when it comes to swimming at sea because people lack the swimming proficiency and equipment needed for dangerous sea currents. –File photo
 
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Muscat: Drowning has claimed 19 lives in Oman in the last 15 months, a top official at the Royal Oman Police (ROP) said.

Fourteen people drowned in 2018 while a further five people died in the first quarter of this year.

The victims were aged between 17 and 30, according to ROP figures.

Over the same period, a total of 31 people were rescued from the waters in and around Oman.



Major General Said Al Amri, Assistant Director of Coastguard Police Command at the ROP, said, “Drowning is the third most common reason for death globally according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), constituting up to seven per cent of the total number of incidents.”

He added, “One of the major reasons for such incidents is the lack of awareness when it comes to swimming at sea because people lack the swimming proficiency and equipment needed for dangerous sea currents. Boat collisions and accidents at sea add to the numbers of deaths by drowning”.



He explained that most drowning incidents take place near beaches as many people who go there to swim do not take account of the depth of the water. “Some of them swim for long distances without having the sufficient physical ability, which leads to them becoming exhausted and then drowning,” he said.

Al Amri also highlighted the dangers of sea currents, saying, “These are extremely dangerous and strong even for highly-skilled swimmers as they can drag the person from the shallows into deep water. Anyone finding themselves caught in strong currents should stay calm and try to float on the surface of the water”

He pointed out that such currents can be seen more during Khareef season in Dhofar governorate.

He also confirmed that parents should stay close to children because they are particularly vulnerable in water.

“Parents should watch their children as they could be drowned in a moment”.

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