*** ----> Let’s not swim into trouble | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Let’s not swim into trouble

By Captain Mahmood Al Mahmood 

Living in an archipelago, the people of Bahrain have a rich maritime history and are closely associated with the ocean surrounding the islands, whether as the source of the famed Bahraini pearls that fuelled our growth in the pre-oil days or as the channel for our brisk maritime trade.

But one thing that we were – and still are – unfamiliar with in regards to the sea, is being comfortable when swimming in it.

Even I, as a marine captain, am not an expert swimmer although I can hold my own in an emergency.

Recently, seeing pictures of my daughter and her family enjoying a day at sea, brought home the point that we must catch our children when they are young and teach them to be comfortable in the sea or any water body.

This lays the foundation for adapting to swimming as a hobby and healthy exercise habit and also arms them with a survival skill.

After all, you would not leave your child untrained to walk on land, would you? Now that summer is here, I dread the news headlines about drownings at sea and even in residential swimming pools.

Although we all periodically call for lifeguards in all these private residential building pools, just how practical is that?

It would be better to have a gong or an emergency buzzer that would alert the security – although in skyscrapers, every minute counts in a poolside emergency.

Better yet would be to teach as many people as possible to swim - and while we are at it, along with swimming, each person should be taught basic rescue and CPR to revive a person in a poolside emergency.

My appeal is to not let any non-swimmer, whether child or adult, test the waters alone or unsupervised by a skilled swimmer.

Let not the great health benefits of water sports and the fun of summer be punctured by avoidable tragedy.


Captain Mahmood Al Mahmood is the Editor-in-Chief of The Daily Tribune and the President of the Arab-African Unity Organisation for Relief, Human Rights and Counterterrorism