Butchered by jet ski
Doctors battle to reconstruct boy's face after fun on the water ends in freak accident
A 10-year-old boy is being forced to undergo major reconstructive surgery after being smashed in the head by a jet ski in Dubai.
Daniel Clamens could be left scarred for life by the accident, which happened while he played in the sea with his neighbour.
Luckily he was wearing a life jacket and was under adult supervision - both of which may have saved his life.
The accident comes just weeks after a teenage boy died after a jet ski crash in Dubai, and once again raises questions about the powerful machines in UAE waters.
Daniel's father, Roberto, a commercial pilot, spoke to 7DAYS about the accident and released pictures of his son in hospital, in the hope it will prevent further tragedies.
"The kids went to Al Mamzar beach. My neighbours bought a boat three weeks ago, and the kids were on our case about going on it. We're always very cautious and strict. This was the one time we broke the rules," he said.
"At about 4.30pm, we got a crazy call saying Daniel had been in an accident and he was on his way to Rashid Hospital."
Daniel was out on the water with his brother, Bryan, 13, two friends and the parents of one of the friends. He was on a banana boat being towed behind the boat.
Roberto added: "They would tip over while on the banana tube. It was all part of the game."
ACCIDENT MUST BE A WAKE-UP CALL
Roberto added:â"A jet skier was apparently chasing the boat and the banana to launch himself off the waves. The kids fell off the banana and the jet ski hit Daniel in the face."
Daniel's friend was in the water with him and started screaming.
"His parents said they'd never heard him scream like that. He saw what was going on - he saw Daniel's face ripped apart," said Roberto.
Daniel was rushed to hospital and his worried father added: "You could see his eyeball, teeth and cheek before the surgery.
We thought he was destroyed. I sat with his mother outside the theatre for nine hours.
The doctor said there was a good probability that the five nerves across his face were severed."
Doctors reconnected four of Daniel's nerves, but could not find the fifth, which controls the movement in his forehead. Miraculously, though, his eyesight has not been affected.
However, in six months' time, Daniel will have to undergo another operation to remove metal plates in his face and will also need plastic surgery.
His parents hope his story will be a warning to others about the dangers of jet skis, and a wake-up call to authorities to put stricter laws in place.
Some watersports professionals agreed, especially in light of the jet ski accident last month where a 14-year-old boy was killed.
Scott Chambers, managing partner at Surf Dubai, said: "There needs to be a basic level of understanding and safety, and regulations to segregate jet skiiers from swimmers. We know how easy it is for someone to get hold of a jet ski."
Dubai Police confirmed the incident is currently under investigation.
The use of jet skis is regulated by Dubai Maritime City Authority.
No one answered the phone when 7DAYS repeatedly called their offices yesterday.