The driver of a speeding motor yacht has been fined 50,000 dhirams (about £11,830) for hitting and injuring an American scuba diver off Dubai.
The 34-year-old diver ended up with what was described in Dubai Misdemeanours Court as a 45% permanent disability, following the incident in June 2020.
The man had been diving with friends from a vessel moored near the artificial Deira Island to the north of the city. The speeding yacht struck him on the head, and he later said that although he had then tried to submerge he found himself pulled towards the vessel’s propellers, which inflicted severe injuries to his thigh.
The yacht was said to have stopped only briefly before leaving the scene. The other divers recovered their friend from the water and called the Coast Guard and police for assistance. He was taken to hospital, where he was treated for joint fractures and severed thigh muscles.
The divers told police that all required safety precautions had been taken before they dived, with a blue and white diver-down flag flying on their boat.
The unnamed driver of the yacht, described in reports as an expatriate Gulf citizen, denied seeing not only a flag but the divers’ boat, and claimed to have been unaware that an incident had occurred.
Experts checking the yacht’s records concluded that the incident had been caused by inattentive driving at a “very high speed” of 27 knots (about 50kmph). In Dubai, vessels are supposed to observe a 2 knot speed limit within 300m of a diver-down flag.