DOHA: Two children who were drowning off Al Thakhira beach in Qatar were rescued miraculously by an expat who jumped into the sea after hearing their screams.
The incident happened on Wednesday at around 10 pm and several families had gathered on the beach to celebrate Eid holidays.
Ashraf K E, 40, an Indian expatriate from the southern state of Kerala, was fishing nearby when he heard the screams and jumped into the sea to rescue the two children, an eight-year-old boy and 12-year-old girl, who hailed from Kozhikode in Kerala.
“I heard the screams of children. I jumped into the sea to rescue a boy who was drowning, but while rescuing him, saw another child going down in water and pulled her up. It was very deep and I had to struggle to find balance,” Ashraf told The Doha Globe.
Interestingly, parents of the children came to know about the incident only after they were rescued.
Several children had entered the water for swimming in an area close to the mangroves, which is a very dangerous place, where there was a canal for boats. The children were drawn inside the water by the waves created by a passing boat.
“It will appear very shallow from the shore. But after three metres, it’s very deep and is like a cliff. Nobody should enter the water in that area which is very, very dangerous,” Ashraf said.
“It was a miraculous rescue. Two lives would have been lost if were late by a few seconds. It was dark and music was blaring. When we heard the screams, at first we thought children were just having fun, but by that time Ashraf had jumped into the water,” Faisal M K, who was present at the scene, said.
“After this tragedy, at midnight, another family came to the same area in swimsuits. We sent them back. People have to be really careful where they choose to swim. This is a very dangerous area. There are several places which are safe,” Faisal said.
Ashraf hails from Keezhuparamb in Kerala, and lives near the Chaliyar River, one of the longest and deepest rivers in Kerala.
He works with the Interior Ministry in Qatar.