With reporting from Sowmya Sundar
Following an internal investigation, the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF) has asserted that timely rescue efforts were indeed made during a pleasure boat racing accident that resulted in the death of Rashid Abullah al-Mansouri nearly two weeks ago.
Initial reports said coast guard divers immediately rushed to bring the 34-year-old Qatari man to shore after his boat hit a wave and flipped several times, but al-Mansouri’s sailing partner and other witnesses said official efforts were limited and late, due in part to an absence of a professional rescue team onsite.
However, citing footage taken during the accident, Khalid bin Arhama al-Kuwari, a QMSF board member and Head of Pleasure Boats, Pro Class and Formula One Racing, told Doha News: “The reports are untrue and we have evidence to prove it.”
‘It was a question of saving someone’s life’
According to a QMSF review of footage taken from four videocameras stationed at Katara during the event, two Coast Guard boats reached al-Mansouri in less than a minute. However, the racer was taken to shore on the boat of a Kuwaiti competitor.
That was done for expediency’s sake, Al-Kuwari told reporters during a press conference yesterday, adding that six Red Crescent rescue personnel accompanied al-Mansouri to shore on the competitor’s boat.
“It was a question of saving someone’s life and we cannot say, ‘you cannot take him on his boat (Kuwait driver’s boat), shift him to the Qatar Red Crescent boat,’ ” the Peninsula reports him as saying.
Al-Kuwari also said that three rescue boats were present during the racing event.
Stressing that the accident was caused by speeding and lack of control over the boat, al-Kuwari added that QMSF will seek to reduce speed limits in future races.
Credit: Photo by Aju on Twitter