Tuesday, June 19, 2012

An update on beach safety in Libya

It's summer again in the northern hemisphere, and time once again for another one of my summer safety posts. Actually I was reminded of this when I spoke to my daughter the other day. She mentioned that my husband was attending the funeral of one of my sister-in-law's nephews who had died tragically by drowning.   Another life lost, maybe one that could have been saved.

So many people are injured and lives are lost each summer as the lure of Libya's beautiful coastline attracts beach-goers. Nearly every year I've made a post about beach safety.  One year I posted about the dangers of jellyfish encounters and what to do if you get caught up in their tentaclesAnother year I posted a link on how to recognize the real signs of someone drowning

In 2008 I posted about how to survive a riptide: here and here, resulting in a barrage of comments (many of which were unpublishable!) because I mentioned how so many Libyans didn't know how to swim. The purpose of the post was to educate people about riptides and in the end the post inspired one reader, who just happened to be Moamar Gaddafi's official spokesman, Mousa Ibrahim and his German wife, Julia, to make a beach safety video which I then posted in a follow up post on my blog

This year there are even more dangers on Libya's beaches as a result of the war. Many of the beaches were mined and even though many of the local beaches have been cleared of mines, small arms, light weapons and unexploded ordinance, there is still a danger that some may have been left behind. 

Not only could there be mines buried in the sands, but there is also the possibility of mines floating in the water as it has been documented that NATO intercepted boats laying anti-ship mines outside Mistrata during the war. NATO cleared the mines but there is always the possibility that more exist. 

image from http://www.unicef.ca/en/crisis-in-libya

Oftentimes children fall victim because they are attracted to the mines. Libyan children have been learning about mine awareness at school this year, but it's still important to continue to reinforce the what they've learnt during their holidays. It's not just an issue that affects children, continued awareness is important for everyone. 

image from http://www.psywarrior.com/MineawarenessHerb.html

Have a safe summer!


  1. Hi, Teri. Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting. Things aren't going very well anywhere in this region of the world, are they? Tragic about the land mines and arms just floating around...Hope you're still enjoying your trip home and that your mom is on the mend.
    best, nadia


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