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UAE police rescue stranded family from desert during fog

Dhanusha Gokulan (Principal Correspondent)/Umm Al Quwain
dhanusha@khaleejtimes.com Filed on January 4, 2018 | Last updated on January 4, 2018 at 05.16 am
UAE police rescue stranded family from desert during fog

(Supplied photo)

The family was returning from the airport late at night when they lost their way due to fog.


Stranded in the middle of an unknown desert, under a thick blanket of fog, an Indian family based in Umm Al Quwain imagined every worst possible scenario.

The family of three was on its way back to Umm Al Quwain from Sharjah airport late last week, and ended up missing the exit towards UAQ due to poor visibility caused by dense fog.

"It was 12am and it was just my daughter and wife in the car with me. The visibility was under 10m. It was pitch black. There were no street lights. And at one point I realised that I'd gone off the road," said Jose George, while recounting the incident that took place last week. George works in Jebel Ali while his wife is a nurse at a hospital in Umm Al Quwain.

Luckily for the family, two UAQ police officers guided them out of the dense fog, despite the harsh weather conditions. Speaking to Khaleej Times, Jose's daughter Helen, a grade 11 student in Sharjah, said,"We were at the airport to see off my father's friend. We left the airport at 11.30pm to get back home."

"We exited the airport road and entered Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road to drive towards UAQ. However, we ended up missing the exit and drove towards Ras Al Khaimah instead," she added.

After a while, the family realised they were totally lost, and stopped their car on the hard shoulder close to exit 96 on the highway.

"I was doubly worried because it was just two women in the car with me and I had to get them to safety. I didn't want to take any risks. I couldn't call any of my friends for help either because there was no way they could find me in that fog," said George.

He decided to dial 999 instead, and like a stroke of luck, a police patrol car drove past the family. "We signalled at the patrol car and explained that we were lost."

"The policeman asked us to follow him, but we lost him after a few minutes of driving, realising we had driven the vehicle off-road. That is when I got really worried, and luckily again, we saw another 4x4 vehicle drive past us," added Helen. George followed the car for a few moments until they reached the main road again.

"Luckily, the policeman who was guiding us also found us. It seemed like he was waiting on the highway for us. He drove us all the way back to the entrance of Umm Al Quwain," said Helen.

The family stated that had it not been for the police, they would have waited on the deserted road until morning. "Thanks to the UAE police for its efficient and quick service. We are really blessed to live in such a well secured and safe country like UAE," said Helen.

dhanusha@khaleejtimes.com

Recent UAE police rescue operations

December 23, 2017
Badria Ahmed Al Shehi was driving to her university in Ajman when she saw a car flip over several times, creating a cloud of dust, and hampering visibility. It came to rest on the side of the road. The Emirati woman, who is a non-commissioned officer with the general department of resources and assistance services (RAK Police), leapt out of her car and swung into action to help the screaming passengers.

December 9, 2017
Abu Dhabi Police rescued a 60-year-old man who was stranded in the desert after his car got stuck in the sand. An air ambulance that was immediately dispatched conducted an aerial survey of the area. The police found his vehicle stuck in the sand in the north of the Nahal area. The helicopter landed next to it and found the citizen safe inside.

May 2, 2017
Ras Al Khaimah Police rescued an Emirati family of six from one of the emirate's highest mountains. The central operations room of RAK Police was alerted about the Emirati family stuck at a height of 4,000 feet above the sea level, after which search and rescue team of the air wing section was immediately dispatched to the site, according to Wing Commander Saeed Rashid Al Yamahi, Head of the Air Wing Section.

author

Dhanusha Gokulan

Originally from India, Dhanusha Gokulan has been working as a journalist for over ten years. For Khaleej Times, she covers NRI affairs, civil aviation, and immigration issues among other things. She completed her BA in Journalism, Economics and English Literature from Mangalore University in 2008 and is currently pursuing her MA in Leadership and Innovation in Contemporary Media at the American University in Dubai. In her spare time, she dabbles with some singing/songwriting, loves food, and is mom to an over-enthusiastic Labrador retriever. Tweet at her @shootsprintrite.





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