Thursday, 1 January 2009

Rescue On Oman's High Seas

Congratulations to Oman's Coastguard on a job well done, having saved the lives of around 16 people on a dive trip, when their boat sank off the Daymaniyat Islands. 

Apparently, the dive group, including the Russian Ambassador's wife and son, were in a fishing/diving boat with ten other divers, boat crew and diving cylinders, when it sank and 
it was only after people started to be reported missing, that the situation was discovered due to the vessel not having any means of calling for assistance - no radios or distress beacons etc.

Details are still a bit sketchy, however, it would appear that the dive trip, run by a local company called "Ocean Divers", used a vessel that was overloaded, not suitable for the trip, lacked proper licences or permits and, as previously mentioned, had no means of summoning for help, leaving the group stranded in the sea for more than 24 hours, with some members in the water for 36 hours before the coastguard was able to retrieve them, due to bad visibility and drifting.

According to sources, the owner of "Ocean Divers" who was in charge of the boat, was met on the shoreline by an imaginably concerned Russian Ambassador, accompanied by the Head of the Royal Oman Police. 

I am assuming the proverbial is going to hit the fan for this, and rightly so. Rumours are circulating that the owner is in custody, although he may have been released at this stage.

Standards for some dive centres and adventure tour providers in Oman need to be seriously addressed, as it is nothing short of a miracle that this event resulted in no loss of life. 

Once again, well done to the Oman Coastguard on a very successful outcome to what could have been a disastrous event. 
You did a brilliant job under very difficult conditions and you should be very proud of yourselves.


fred_says said...

I thought the ROP had cancelled all boating, diving, fishing, sailing activities until today (the 1st)?! because of GCC security.

Those poor divers & their families - they must have been really worried. And absolutely congratulations to the coastguards!

Jet Driver said...


This happened about three weeks ago, according to what I have been told.


boxster said...

Russian Ambassador, heh?

I bet he invited the coast guard for some radioactive sushi as a sign of gratitude.

Undercover Dragon said...

There are a few really dodgy adventure tourism/diving outfits, and some excellent ones.

Problem often is people want the low price of the 'cheap and cheerful' approach, and then expect someone else to still look after them in such a situation and have the same safety standards. They should have checked the boat themselves IMHO.

Well done to the ROP coast guard indeed. Anyone know who the owner is?

Rain said...

How do these guys even begin operating when so much is made about how difficult it is to start any commercial operation here? People keep complaining about the number of forms to fill etc etc and then you have some idiot who starts off a water-activity tourism company with little regard for any environmental or basic safety concerns.

boxster said...

I am going to guess that once the start-up hurdles are over, few measures (inspections) are in place to ensure continuous maintenance and upkeep.

Also, do not underestimate the power of the wastah.

On a sidenote - MJD - where can I get me a little (gallon?) jet fuel/kerosene/paraffin oil?

Jet Driver said...


A gallon of Jet A1?
Are you building a plane?


boxster said...

If I told you that I need kerosene to test the efficiency of a valve you would still think that I'm looking to manufacture napalm :)

Barbs said...


You can get kerosene (parafin) at the shell station in Qurum, amongst others.

Jet Driver said...


That now makes you an accessory :)