Video shows tragic beach accident in Oman, not India

·3 min read

A video that appears to show at least two people being swept away by a wave at a beach has been shared repeatedly in posts that claim it was filmed in India. This is false. The clip has circulated in news reports about members of a family that were swept away by waves near Oman's Al Mughsail beach. Authorities in the sultanate said at least three people were found dead and two were declared missing following the accident, local media reported.

The video was shared on Facebook here on July 12, 2022.

It appears to show people posing on a rocky shoreline just before a wave crashes over them, dragging at least two people into the sea.

The post's English-language caption reads: "Alibagh. Near Mumbai. Because of the selfie.. With their backs towards the water.. These girls. Be careful of water, even streams, small puddles, could take your life.

"Spread it around, specially young ones.. Many friends have been lost to drowning during picnics."

A screenshot of the misleading post, taken on July 15, 2022

The video circulated online as parts of western India, including Mumbai in Maharashtra state, witnessed torrential monsoon rains in July.

Deadly floods and heavy downpours hit Maharashtra's third largest city of Nagpur and in the western state of Gujarat, English-language daily The Hindustan Times reported on July 13.

The video was also shared alongside a similar claim in Hindi-language posts on Facebook here and here.

However, the claim is false: the video has circulated in reports about a family being swept into the sea in Oman.

Beach tragedy

According to a report by UAE-based English-language newspaper Gulf News, an expat family of eight was swept away by strong waves at Al Mughsail beach on July 10.

"The Civil Defence and Ambulance Authority (CDAA) said it managed to rescue only three of them and are looking  for the five," the report stated.

It also shared a tweet by a user with the handle "@WeatherOman" that included part of the video.

The Arabic-language tweet reads: "The drowning accident involving an Asian family in Al Mughsail due to the force of the waves after they crossed the safety barrier!"

The Gulf News report added that all tourist sites across the sultanate were temporarily closed after the country dealt with "unstable weather conditions".

A report by the Bahrain-based Gulf Daily News on July 13 said two people had been found dead following the accident.

Search and rescue teams were still trying to locate the other three members of the family, the news outlet reported.

The Gulf Daily News also tweeted the video, with the caption: "The Royal Oman Police continued their search on Tuesday for three missing members of a family of eight who were swept into the sea by strong currents."

Below is a screenshot comparison of the video shared on Facebook (left) and the video tweeted by Gulf Daily News (right):

Several other local media outlets also reported on the incident, including Al Arabia and the Times of Oman.

There have been no official reports of people drowning in Alibagh while taking selfies during the monsoon rains there as of July 19.

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