Man drowns in Sharjah hotel swimming pool

Spate of drownings in emirate's hotel pools has raised safety concerns

For illustrative purposes
For illustrative purposes

A man has drowned in a hotel swimming pool in the Al Khan neighbhourhood, police have confirmed.

Reports in The National said the man was identified as Alexander K, 56 years old from Kazakhstan, he was said to be staying with his family at the hotel when the incident happened around midday on Tuesday.

The drowning is the latest in a series of such incidents at various Sharjah resorts over recent months, which have led to fears that hotels are failing to impose strict health and safety measures.

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In April, Sharjah police issued a warning following the deaths of two people in March.

Police said that people should not enter the water off beaches with safety flags, and holidaymakers in hotels should check there is a lifeguard present.

"The number of accidents is continuing to rise despite constant police warnings. Sharjah Police are taking precautionary measures by adding more warning signs in areas that have witnessed drowning accidents this year," Colonel Abdullah Sultan Al Khayal, director of moral guidance and PR, Sharjah Police said at the time.

However, in August, newspaper Khaleej Times reported that a 36-year-old Egyptian had drowned in front of his wife and children in the swimming pool of a resort in the Buhairah Corniche area of Sharjah.

The man, identified as Kalid Ahmed Hassan, was an employee of the Health Authority – Abu Dhabi (HAAD) and had come from Abu Dhabi with his family, including wife and three children, to spend the Eid holidays at Marbella Resort hotel.

The family went for a swim at a beach resort in the neighbourhood, also owned by the same hotel. A police spokesman said the family saw the man struggling in the water and tried to pull him out but could not. They called the police but by the time the police rescuers arrived, he had died.

That same week, another Egyptian man died while swimming off Al Khan beach. The incidents were widely criticised and led the local authorities in the emirate to issue another warning, similar to that given in April.

“There have been cases where people have drowned… the major reason is there is no certified lifeguard on duty. It is required to have a lifeguard, we have the tourism body classification and among that criteria is health and safety and a lifeguard should be on duty – same as Dubai,” Christiane Abou Zeidan, director of environmental health and safety of Rotana told Hotelier Middle East.

Rotana operates hotels in Sharjah, however, Zeidan said all their lifeguards were certified and took part in regular training activities, refresher courses and drills.

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