Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR) is a two-kilometre stretch of beach located in Dubai. After a second drowning in just two months, police have called for immediate action to be taken to increase safety.
Janet Marie, a 64 year old British tourist was swimming at the beach last Wednesday before she was swept out to sea. According to the police, the drowning didn’t occur in bad weather conditions. Instead, the police claimed that the lady wasn’t able to fight the current. Police are urging for the installation of wavebreakers at sea and watchtowers staffed by lifeguards on the beach to prevent future incidents from happening.
“This beach is one of the most problematic ones for us, mainly because it is not well equipped for swimming,” Col Al Mazyoud said. “It is important to better equip this beach, because many people visit it.”
Just last year in March, two British tourists drowned at JBR beach in the space of two hours. Police have advised the Dubai Municipality’s Coastal Management department to designate a specific area of the long strand for swimming. This is to narrow down the area for surveillance of the beach to ensure the safety of the public. Despite these drownings, JBR isn’t considered to be unsafe compared to other beaches in the world.
Col Al Mazyoud also stated that much of the problem lies with the swimmers. “There is not enough awareness,” he said. “People need to be more careful when approaching the sea. They should also protect themselves. They need to be careful of any currents and not swim too far out.”
What Col Al Mazyoud said is extremely accurate. There are a lot of times that people underestimate the open waters. They do not realise how strong and unpredictable it can become in just a split of a second. This is one of the reasons why drowning occurs. The lack of awareness and knowledge about open waters is a potential killer. This is why Singapore always emphasize on the need to pick up swimming. Nowadays, it is compulsory for children to learn swimming once they enter into primary school. This preparation provides them with confidence in swimming pools and teaches them the necessary skills required. However, it is a totally different experience when it comes to the open waters. The truth is that many people lack the experience in this field. Even the top swimmers might not have the easiest of time in the sea.
Happy Fish Swim School believes that having open water knowledge and skills are just as essential. Hence, we strongly recommend the public who have already obtained the basic swimming certificates to sign up for the Open Water SwimSafer Course for advancement. Regardless, always remember never to underestimate the open waters and never swim too far out.