‘Don’t venture into sea during Khareef season in Dhofar’
July 28, 2019 | 8:55 PM
by Times News Service

Muscat: Tourists are being warned off swimming in the sea off Dhofar’s coast during the Khareef season, as weather conditions can make it too dangerous for even experienced swimmers.

In a statement, the Ministry of Tourism advised tourists to take care on beaches during Khareef Season and to be wary of higher waves than usual.

“We wish you a joyful experience in the Sultanate of Oman,” the statement added.

“Please be careful and vigilant when on the beach during Salalah Khareef and avoid swimming in the sea”.

This statement was echoed by Sayyid Mohammed bin Sultan Al Busaidi, Minister of State and Governor of Dhofar, who warned against anyone swimming off the beaches.

The Ministry of Tourism advised tourists to take care on beaches during Khareef Season and to be wary of higher waves than usual.

Al Busaidi said in an interview with state broadcaster Oman TV: “Ready as we are for Khareef, we hope that everyone cooperates. Visitors should comply with all authorities’ warnings”.

After speaking about the importance of following driving laws, he added, “People who visit the beaches in Dhofar, both young and adult, must take care and should never go into the water because the waves are so strong. Even those who are professional swimmers, I personally wish that they would not risk their lives by stepping into the waves.”

The Royal Oman Police and the Public Authority for Civil Defence and Ambulance have also warned about the dangers of Khareef season, with PACDA explaining that the strong currents in the sea are just as dangerous as the waves themselves.

A statement from PACDA said : “Avoid swimming in the ocean during Khareef season due to the increase in the height of waves and the existence of sea currents running along the beaches of Dhofar.”

Commenting on this, Joseph John, a swimming instructor in Oman said, “If you don’t know how to swim, don’t go in the water, even if your friends try to force you to get in because at the end of the day, you are responsible for your life. Parents should also keep an eye on their children when they play in the sea, because there is always a risk of drowning when you are in the ocean.”

“To take a risk with your life like that is something you must never do, because unlike in a swimming pool, there are no safety measures in the sea, and if something goes wrong, there are no lifeguards or any other services to rescue you immediately,” he added.

A doctor in Oman said, “In this situation, it is also possible for the body to develop cramps, and this is even worse because now you are drowning and in pain, making it all the more difficult for you to get to safety. If, for example, your respiratory system and diaphragm begin cramping, it means you can’t breathe, and then you are almost certainly going to drown.”

Despite the beach’s dangers, there is much more in Dhofar to be enjoyed during the Khareef season.

A statement from the Ministry of Tourism said: “In the east, Salalah offers some of the best landscapes in the Middle East including Wadi Darbat with its lake and magnificent waterfalls, and the dramatic uplands of the Jebel Samhan, whose sheer limestone walls tower above the coastal plain.”

“The remains of the ancient city of Samharam, once one of the key ports in the frankincense trade and the iconic Taqah Castle are also popular attractions,” concluded the statement, which also described Dhofar as “the ideal summer getaway.”

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