Witnesses and friends of fallen Qatari pleasure boat racer Rashid Abullah al-Mansouri are disputing officials’ account of rescue efforts made after his vessel crashed into a hard wave and flipped in the air.
Initial reports said coast guard divers immediately rushed to bring him to shore, but al-Mansouri’s sailing partner and other witnesses say official efforts were limited and late.
Hamad Jassim al-Zayed al-Mutawa, who was in the boat with al-Mansouri, told the Peninsula that there was no on-site rescue team, and confirmed it was racers from Kuwait who pulled him from the water:
“The Kuwaiti racers were near us and rushed to save Rashid. They took him out of the water but he had already died.
“There was only one ambulance on the beach. There should have been a specialist rescue team in the water.”
The incident occurred at Katara beach during the third round of Qatar Marine Sports Federation’s Pro Class & Pleasure Boats Local Championship.
In a comment left on Doha News, one witness said official response time was sluggish:
The coast guard didn’t rush to the spot. They left at least 10 minutes late. The driver was eventually brought to the shore on another competitor’s boat. The Red Cresecent guys were pumping the driver’s chest for close to 20 minutes.
A similar account of the incident was also shared on a local Arabic radio station.
QMSF officials, meanwhile, have pledged to support the boat racer’s family “in every possible way.”