Missing diver’s friends mobilise rescue efforts

Friends of the missing Algerian diver Adel Ait-Ghezala's have urged the public to help provide access to any resources that can help in the search, such as access to boats, divers, air support, or other support services

Muscat: Friends of the Algerian diver, Adel Ait-Ghezala, 35, who went missing off the Dubai coast on January 1, have launched a massive social media campaign to mobilise rescue operations.

An Indiegogo online campaign ( to raise money for privately chartered search helicopters and boats surpassed its $50,000 goal with over 250 donors, said a close friend of the missing diver who is coordinating search efforts with others.

At the time of the filing of this report, $64,687 had been raised for the rescue operations.

The incident
Adel, an American University PhD student who was raised in Oman, had gone diving off the Dubai coast with three friends and his wife, Rana on January 1 at around 4pm. He was equipped with a wet suit, fins, a speargun and a snorkel, but no oxygen tank.

"If we don't act today, we may lose our friend. Please help us save Adel Ait-Ghezala by supporting however you can," a post read on the page.

If not donations, his friends have urged the public to help provide "access to any other resources that can aid in the search, such as access to boats, divers, air support, or other support services."

The funds generated from the drive will go towards mobilising rescue operations.

According to the update on the help and rescue campaign website, all funds will be transferred as soon as possible to pay for chartering private helicopters and providing other air support; boats, divers and underwater support; as well as any other related equipment, fees or expenses.

"We thank you all for your generosity and hope you can help us make one final push to make as much effort as humanely possible. Every dollar you give will go towards bringing Adel home, so keep giving and keep telling your friends!"

The Facebook campaign 'Adel Ait-Ghezala Rescue Effort' and twitter drive #HELPFINDADEL have both garnered immense response on the social media circuit. "Adel Ait-Ghezala went missing 30km off the coast of Dubai while diving on Wednesday, January 1", read a flyer that was posted online.

The Facebook page has 1,610 followers so far, and regular updates about the rescue operations are posted.

On Twitter, Adel's friends are working to collect any information about him.

"Adel Ait-Ghezala is a friend of a friend of mine. Please RT, share info with people in #Dubai to #HelpFindAdel," wrote a friend.

"Twitter, your help is needed to #HelpFindAdel lost at sea while diving off the coast of Dubai info at … PLEASE retweet!"

The Dubai Police, along with the UAE Coast Guards, have been working consistently to find Adel.

Marine and air rescue teams have been conducting searches since January 1.

The United Arab Emirates coast guard has been conducting daily searches but does not have the ability to search at night, said Ait-Ghezala's brother, who has tried to enlist help from the US Navy, which has ships in the area.

According to the US media, the US State Department spokeswoman said that because Ait-Ghezala is not a US citizen or a permanent resident, it could not handle his case.

Twitter, your help is needed to #HelpFindAdel lost at sea while diving off the coast of Dubai info at … PLEASE retweet! Twitter Message


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