By Neil Halligan
Over 40 tourists get into trouble after engines cut out and became flooded in rough weather
Over 40 tourists had to be rescued by local fisherman after the boats they were in encountered rough seas off the coast of Fujairah.
The boats, which had 43 passengers on board between them, issued a mayday call at 2pm on Friday, February 27 after engines on both boats became flooded due to high winds and choppy waters.
Sulaiman Al Khadim, manager of Dibba Fishermen association, told The National newspaper that the weather began to change after the boats left port.
“The cruise ships took off from Dibba port carrying 43 passengers, stopped in Birds Island near Dibba shores and at 1pm the weather started to change, so the captain decided to cancel the cruise and head back to the port. On their way back, the sea became rough with high waves so the captain changed the direction and instead of going to the port he headed to the shores in order to save the passengers’ lives,” he said.
“We appreciate the ships captains’ efforts by taking the right decision in cancelling the trip and sailing to the shore instead of going back to the port. They sacrificed their boats for the sake of saving the passengers’ lives,” Al Khadim added.
The passengers, which include people from India, Egypt, the Philippines and Sri Lanka, were taken to Dibba Hospital as a precautionary measure, but none were injured.