Drowning cases spike in Oman

Energy Sunday 07/May/2017 20:50 PM
By: Times News Service
Drowning cases spike in Oman

Muscat: Drowning claimed the lives of more than double the number of people in 2016 compared to the year before, officials have revealed.
According to statistics from the General Authority for Civil Defence and Ambulance (PACDA) related to drowning incidents, there were 286 incidents in 2016, compared to 113 in 2015, showing a dramatic increase. In 2014, 150 drowning incidents were recorded, which is still relatively low compared to 2016.
PACDA noted that most of the victims drowned in wadis.
"Drowning is one of the most painful and recurring incidents, especially in the summer, which often occurs around the water bodies people frequent to escape the heat, and enjoy the beautiful nature that God bestowed upon the Sultanate. Drowning incidents include adults who cannot swim, as well as children," PACDA said.
The authority explained that the main causes of drowning include a lack of swimming proficiency, as well as swimming in non-designated areas, such as agricultural ponds, dams, water channels and hazardous water pools.
"Inexperienced, random rescue attempts can also result in more than one person drowning at the same time. Not observing children during trips and picnics near the water can result in harmful consequences. Non-compliance with the regulations prohibiting swimming in certain areas, as well as crossing wadis without taking into account the power of currents can be dire," PACDA said.
PACDA recommended several steps this summer in order to reduce drowning risks.
"We recommend that you follow the safety procedures, including swimming in the designated areas. Swimming pools should be equipped with fixed stairs and metal handles spread around the perimeter of the pool, and there must be life jackets provided. Swimming pools should not be entirely filled if they are used by children.
"An adult must watch the children while swimming, and needs to ensure that the pool is empty of individuals when leaving."
In all cases and if such incidents occur, direct contact should be made with PACDA at the emergency telephone numbers (9999) or (24343666).