A total of 42 people were taken to hospital on Friday after two tourist boats got stranded off the coast during hazardous conditions.

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FUJAIRAH // Tourists on two boats off the coast of Fujairah had to be rescued on Friday when the vessels encountered rough seas.

More than 40 people on the tourist boats were taken to Dibba Hospital as a precautionary measure but no one was injured, Fujairah Police said.

A mayday call was made at about 2pm on Friday as the engines on both boats had been flooded and would not start after high winds led to choppy waters.

The people on-board were from India, Egypt, the Philippines and Sri Lanka.

Sulaiman Al Khadim, manager of Dibba Fishermen association, said: “The cruise ships took off from Dibba port carrying 43 passengers, stopped in Birds Island near Dibba shores and at 1pm the weather started to change, so the captain decided to cancel the cruise and head back to the port.

“On their way back, the sea became rough with high waves so the captain changed the direction and instead of going to the port he headed to the shores in order to save the passengers’ lives.

“We appreciate the ships captains’ efforts by taking the right decision in cancelling the trip and sailing to the shore instead of going back to the port,” he said. “They sacrificed their boats for the sake of saving the passengers’ lives.”

Mr Al Khadim said seas will be rough in the coming days and cruise ships and fisherman are being warned to keep away for safety.

rhaza@thenational.ae