Maldives issue warning amid spike in tourist drownings

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In this file photo taken on February 07, 2018, a group of women bathe at an artificial beach in the Maldives capital Male. Six tourists, including a Filipino honeymoon couple, drowned in the upmarket holiday destination of the Maldives this month making it the worst for swimming and diving-related tragedies, officials said on January 22, 2019. (AFP)
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This file photo taken on August 17, 2007 shows the Coco Palm resort on Boduhithi Island in the Maldives. (AFP)
Updated 23 January 2019
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Maldives issue warning amid spike in tourist drownings

  • The tourism ministry was in the process of identifying safe zones for ocean swimming and diving after the spike in drownings, officials said

COLOMBO: Five tourists including a honeymooning couple have drowned in a single week in the Maldives, officials said, prompting a nationwide safety warning to holiday resorts in the pristine islands.
Tourism officials said all resort operators in the paradise archipelago were urged Monday to keep a close eye on their clients after the spate of deaths.
Strong currents caused by a north-east monsoon were blamed for the slew of drownings in the idyllic atoll nation, where such accidents are usually few and far between.
Around 1.4 million tourists visit the Maldives every year but the latest government data shows just 31 people drowned in 2017.
On January 13, two Filipino newlyweds were swept to their deaths by a powerful undertow.
The man got into trouble and his wife went to his aid, but both perished. Their bodies were recovered and repatriated to the Philippines, officials said.
An 84-year-old Czech tourist and a 66-year-old South Korean woman died within two days of each other at a resort near the capital Male while snorkelling.
A Russian woman on a dive trip was the latest casualty on Sunday.
A Pakistani holidaymaker came close to death but was plucked to safety and taken to hospital.
The tourism ministry was in the process of identifying safe zones for ocean swimming and diving after the spike in drownings, officials said.
The Maldives relies on tourism and visitors come for the turquoise waters and white sand beaches of the islands scattered some 800 kilometers (500 miles) across the equator.


ThePlace: Fifa Mountains in Jazan

Photo/Colors of Saudi
Updated 15 February 2019
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ThePlace: Fifa Mountains in Jazan

The stunning mountains in Jazan remain one of Saudi Arabia’s most popular tourist attractions. Part of the Sarawat range, the dense forests that cover the jagged rock formations create a green blanket of natural beauty on the backbone of the Arabian Peninsula. The mountains are characterized by their towering peaks, terraces, and coffee and maize fields.