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Posted On: 8 July 2020 05:40 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:22 pm

Keep yourself safe from the danger by following these swimming safety precautions!

Khadiza Begum
Khadiza Begum
Content Writer
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Swimming is a great activity that we enjoy, whether it's at the pool or beach but it doesn't mean we can forget about safety. According to Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), most drowning incidents in Qatar occur at home, in private swimming pools and bathtubs. However, some incidents of drowning do occur in the sea because families often go to the beach for leisure activities at this time of the year.

In Qatar, drowning is one of the leading causes of death and serious disability in children, according to Kulluna Health and Safety Campaign Chairman and head of HMC’s Hamad International Training Center.

Therefore, attention to safety in all types of water helps us to ensure that everyone in the family can have an enjoyable time without putting themselves at risk.

Deaths from drowning incidents in Qatar

Over the years Qatar records many incidences of near-drowning and fatalities. We have mentioned below some of the incidents and the reason for mentioning the incidents is to remind you about the safety measures during swimming.

  • Two female students drown in Qatar University pool: In a very tragic accident, two female students of Qatar University drowned in the swimming pool inside the University accommodation in 2016. According to the reports, Noor was trying to save her friend while the incident happened.
  • Indian expat dies in drowning-related incident: Tragedy struck a group of picnickers after one of them drowned while bathing in the sea near Khor al Udeid. Indian expatriate Thomas John accidentally fell into a whirlpool and despite efforts to save him after being pulled out of the water, he died before reaching the hospital. This incident was recorded in 2016.
  • Man drowns off Sealine beach: A man drowned in the sea off Sealine beach while taking a swim. The incident was recorded in 2014.
  • Child drowns at Qatar's Aqua Park: An eight-year-old boy died in Qatar's popular Aqua Park in 2012 as no safety instructions were displayed near the pool, nor were there any lifeguards available at the time the tragic incident took place.
  • Three teenage brothers drowned in Abu Fatnass Beach: Another tragic incident happened in 2012 as three teenage brothers (11, 13, and 15 yrs) were with their family at Abu Fatnass Beach and they were reportedly pulled from the shore by currents. The police launched a search and rescue operations that included boats, helicopters and divers. The efforts allowed them to find the body of one of the missing brothers. Later, it was learned the area where the three siblings allegedly drowned was dangerous and that the sea bottom was not level.

Facts about drowning in Qatar

Let's dig into the fact to know how big the problem is as HMC mentions on their website.

Quick statistics for Qatar

  • Drowning is a leading cause of death and serious disability in children in Qatar
  • 90% of cases involve children aged 10 years or under
  • 70% of those are younger than four years old
  • A child can drown in less than two minutes in as little as 5cm of water in absolute silence
  • 80% of children drown when no-one is watching them
  • 70% of swimming pool children drowning cases can be prevented by using proper fencing

Facts you may not know

  • A child can drown in less than two minutes in as little as 5cm of water in absolute silence
  • Because children under two years have heads proportionately heavier than the rest of their body they can easily topple into water
  • The majority of drowning accidents occur in and around the home
  • Children who receive resuscitation quickly, at the scene of the accident, have a better chance of survival​

Swim safety at beaches and pools

Drowning in swimming pools or at beaches snitches valuable lives, so it's important to adopt precautionary measures to prevent accidents of drowning. Check out the following safety precautions provided by the Ministry of interior and Hamad Medical Cooperation.

Children's safety

  • Make sure that children are supervised by experienced adults who know swimming. Don't get engaged with reading, swimming, browsing your mobile etc when they accompany you.
  • Secure the floating devices properly and watch the children continuously while they swim.
  • Don't allow children to run around the swimming pools as the area will be wet and they may slip and fall into the pools.
  • Plastic water-wings and rings are not designed to keep swimmers safe. Never replace them with life jackets. So be sure that the kids are always wearing life jackets when playing in or next to water or even on a boat.
  • Never leave a young child unattended near water and do not trust a child’s life to another child; teach children to always ask permission to go near water. Don’t leave the children unattended even for a moment. Seconds count in preventing death or disability.
  • If you have a pool, secure it with appropriate barriers. Remember but barriers are not an alternative for your constant supervision.
  • It is also important to be aware of potential sources of risk other than swimming pools, such as bathtubs. Always close the doors to bathrooms and swimming pools immediately after use.

General safety

  • Check the weather forecast before going to the beach to avoid inclement weather and the risks associated with strong winds and high waves.
  • Avoid swimming alone. It's preferable to have someone with you who could provide first aid to you.
  • Do not use water-rings of any types if the water is deep.
  • If you are a watercraft user, make sure that the watercraft is safe to ride and wrap the lanyard around your wrist. People without experience and the children below legal age should not ride it. Avoid riding them in swimming and diving areas, lanes of ships or fishing vessels and areas of marine activities. As well, don't make acrobatic exercises endangering your safety and safety of others.

Be aware of RIP current

It's important to know about RIP currents as they are powerful, moving at speeds of up to eight feet per second and can pose a serious risk to the swimmers. This current can move faster than an Olympic swimmer. So in case you are caught in a RIP current, don't fight it, stay calm and swim parallel to the shore and finally swim back to land at an angle.