Video: Meet Sharjah brothers who rescued over 200 people, 80 cars during historic rain

They have been carrying out rescue operations for the last four years, drawing on their extensive experience in saving people from desert terrain

by

SM Ayaz Zakir

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Affan Tanvir (third from left) and Suleiman (second from right). Photo: Supplied
Affan Tanvir (third from left) and Suleiman (second from right). Photo: Supplied

Published: Sat 27 Apr 2024, 4:52 PM

Last updated: Sun 28 Apr 2024, 4:05 PM

For brothers Affan Tanvir and Suleiman Tanvir, engaging in rescue missions is nothing new. They have been carrying out rescue operations for the last four years, drawing on their extensive experience in saving people from desert terrain. When the record-breaking rain hit the UAE on April 16, they immediately put their skills to use.

Their recent mission started at 8am on April 16, while they were on their way to Dubai Airport to pick up friends whose flight had been cancelled. “It rained a bit at night and in the morning, and the roads were water-logged in many areas on April 16. As we were travelling, we rescued many cars, trucks, and minivans from the waterlogged roads. However, submerged routes prevented us from reaching the airport, prompting us to redirect our efforts to assist those in need,” said Affan.


All this they could undertake is because of their loyal companion — their off-roading SUV, a modified Nissan Patrol Safari that has been enabling them to undertake various challenging tasks. “Our vehicle is tuned and modified to tackle diverse challenges. Its power and modified ground clearance allow it to navigate through waters and rescue people,” said Affan.

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During their journey back from the airport, they encountered many motorists unsure how to retrieve their vehicles from the water. “We pulled their vehicles out without starting their engines. Once they were on safer ground, they could drive away. A few vehicles didn't start,” said Affan.

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After working until noon on April 16, they took a brief rest before resuming their rescue missions in the evening. “As the heavy rainfall continued on April 16, we received hundreds of calls for rescuing people stranded in villas and cars on waterlogged streets,” said Affan.

Their most challenging missions unfolded on the evening of April 16, extending into the next morning without pause. “Many had been at offices on April 16, and upon returning, they found their cars and minivans stuck on waterlogged streets,” said Affan.

“Numerous individuals were hesitant to leave their vehicles, so we approached them and escorted them to safety. We even extracted vehicles from the water on the same day,” added Affan.

Residents of the Al Hoshi neighbourhood in Sharjah and owners of Front Line Group, the brothers, along with their company employees, got into action again on April 17 after 4 pm, responding to calls to rescue people and stranded vehicles. Over four days, they worked tirelessly, accumulating over 50 hours of rescue efforts.

“We rescued over 200 people from homes and roads, and we pulled out more than 80 cars, along with many minivans and buses,” said Affan.

Previous rescue operations

They frequently receive calls from locals in Ras Al Khaimah reporting individuals stuck in the desert as it is only a 50-minute drive from their residence. "We get a lot of calls to rescue people struck in the desert. Whenever we want to go off-roading or on a desert drive, we primarily focus on the Ras Al Khaimah desert, where many vehicles get stuck, so that we can help them,” said Affan.

Their determination and skills have garnered recognition from law enforcement. “A few policemen in Sharjah have requested our contact information for future missions. We feel really proud and blessed to live in the UAE,” added Affan.

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