Oman weather: Duo recall ‘great escape’ from death in wadi

Oman Friday 11/March/2016 22:14 PM
By: Times News Service
Oman weather: Duo recall ‘great escape’ from death in wadi

Muscat: It was an escape they thought they’d never make, and finally, as they managed to beat death in an overflowing wadi (valley), they have a simple message for one and all: Do not ignore warnings and do not cross an overflowing wadi.
“We still can’t believe we are alive,” say Nidhin Mathew Eapen and Suresh Kumar, who got stuck in an overflowing wadi in Khader near Sinaw on Tuesday morning, as it was raining heavily.
“We were stuck for four hours in the wadi. We were facing sure death. It was a time between life and death,” says Eapen while narrating his ordeal to the Times of Oman.
“It was the worst time of my life,” he said.
The duo were on their way back to Muscat from Duqm after some official work when they got trapped in the overflowing wadi at around 2.30am.
“When we saw the wadi, we decided not to cross it had cleared; so we parked our sedan and took some rest nearby,” recalled Eapen.
He added that they decided to cross the wadi after confirming that the current was not menacing enough and that they could cross it without difficulty.
“We saw smaller and older cars crossing the wadi easily and that made us believe that we could also cross it without any trouble,” Eapen stated.
“But as we entered the wadi, the water level increased unexpectedly and our vehicle was swept away from the road,” he added.
Their reaction of the time is still inexplicable, Eapen said.
“We were screaming to get the attention of the officials,” he said.
But even the civil defence officers were not able to help because of the strong flow of water in the wadi. The duo’s car was swept away from the road and jammed somewhere around 750 metres away from the road.
“When we started getting swept away, I opened the car windows to avoid getting trapped inside the vehicle,” Eapen narrated.
“Our car was rotating like a small object in the water and got stuck somewhere in the wadi after sometime,” he added.
“Meanwhile, Suresh climbed out of the car and stood on the top while I half squeezed out trying to manoeuvre standing on the driver’s seat,” Eapen continued.
According to him, their car got jammed in an area that was pitch dark and cold too.
“I didn’t have any hope of being rescued. I have heard it’s hard to escape death in an overflowing wadi. I thought it’s going to be over for us.”
Eapen said the rescue team tried its best to provide them light by switching on their vehicle’s headlight.
In the meantime, water entered the car and it started tilting to a side.
“At that time we got very scared and I was sure those would be our last moments,” Eapen recollected.
“I felt a pressing need to see my family, but I was not even able to call them,” he narrated.
They were stuck in the cold for four hours until one of the rescue teams arrived to save them.
“We were rescued by ROP’s (Royal Oman Police’s) fire and rescue team at around 7.15 am,” Eapen said, thanking the rescuers for their miraculous escape.
“One person came with a rope through the slopes and tied it to the car and took us back with him,” he added.
“They (rescue officers) tried their best with all their experience, but the bad weather delayed the rescue operation,” Eapen explained.
Both Eapen and Kumar said they are grateful to the ROP and the rescue officers for saving their lives.