Staff members of the Air Wing Department affiliated with the General Directorate of Security Support at the Ministry of Interior worked round-the-clock and carried out non-stop missions during the last 48 hours covering road accidents, responding to rescue and emergency calls and monitoring damages at the countrywide level regardless of the temperamental weather conditions prevailing in the UAE. This reflects the Air Wing Department personnel’s dedication to respect the oath they made, to carry out their sacred duty towards ensuring the safety of the UAE and its residents at all time; regardless of the risks and dangers caused by storms, heavy rain, and unstable weather conditions on helicopters and their crews.

In Northern areas of the UAE, the Sharjah Air Wing section, rescued more than 63 people. The operations included transporting patients in critical medical conditions to hospitals, rescuing people injured in road accidents or trapped in flooded areas. As a part of these operations, the Air Wing crews airlifted a senior citizen trapped inside his car in a flooded valley, and a family of 12 trapped in Al Madam Desert in Sharjah.

Colonel Salem Al Suwaidi, Deputy Head of the Air Wing Department at the Ministry of Interior, said: “The humanitarian missions carried out by the Sharjah-based air ambulance planes during the unstable weather conditions prevailing in the UAE over the past two days resulted in the rescue of 63 people; especially when the storm was at its peak. The rescue efforts were conducted in coordination with the different police entities, which diligently endeavored to face the storm and the unstable weather affecting the UAE.”

Colonel Al Suwaidi explained that the rescue operations were mainly focused in Al Madam Valley in Sharjah, which witnessed intense rescue operations throughout the day, on Wednesday, between 3:45 pm and 7:20 pm. The operations included rescuing a senior citizen, whose car was trapped in flood water in the valley, and an Asian national. Nine members of an Emirati family were rescued, as well as another family of five members, who were also trapped in flood water. Operations also included rescuing seven Asian nationals, and five Emirati citizens who were trapped in muddy water. The Air Wing staff members also rescued two UAE nationals, and 12 members of an Emirati family, including six women, four children and two infants. They also secured the crossing of nine people to the other side of a valley.

Adding further, Colonel Al Suwaidi said: “Rescue operations continued into the night at Al Madam Valley, whereas four people were airlifted to safety in two different locations. A family of seven was rescued as they climbed to the roof of their vehicle to avoid the rising water. An Asian national was also rescued from an isolated land location.”

Colonel Al Suwaidi emphasized that the Air Wing aircrafts continue their regular patrols across the UAE, and are fully prepared to support police and ambulance bodies, in carrying out their life-saving duties. He explained that the air ambulance aircrafts are conducting their rescue operations day and night across the valleys, which are prone to flash floods across the UAE. Colonel Al Suwaidi also confirmed the readiness of staff members and their high-professionalism in handling such emergency situations, using their advanced tools and equipment.

For his part, Colonel Saif Salim Al Dah, Chief of the Air Wing Section in the Northern Emirates, called upon the public to adhere to the instructions of the concerned authorities in such unusual conditions, and avoid going out, unless it is necessary. He urged them to stay clear of valleys, floods, and water paths in the mountains. In addition, he urged the public to avoid beaches in such temperamental weather conditions, and in case of sailing, they should be familiar with the weather conditions, notify the concerned authorities of the time of departure, arrival and destination, ensure the availability of safety equipment; especially life jackets and GPS, and have a communication device to be able to report any potential emergency and facilitate search and rescue operations.
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