A video has emerged online of a mother and her two and a half-year-old child snorkelling and freediving at Shaab Marsa Alam in the Red Sea. It’s been watched over 2.2 million times. But the video has been met with some criticism, with some claiming the dive was really irresponsible.
After being posted on Facebook by Red Sea Diving Safari on 2 May, the video raked in over 12,000 reactions and 33,000 shares. Many have responded positively to the video with one user stating: “Amazing! Let’s all acknowledge that THIS is the only way to swim with dolphins”, while another added: “This is beautiful! All of you fearful people need to get out more. I’m shocked there is one negative comment here.”
However, the video also received a lot of negative feedback. One commenter said: “This should not have been accepted! Anything could have gone wrong!” Another added: “Two and a half years old bloody stupid also stupid of the centre for allowing it.” Many also drew attention to the presence of the jellyfish—which, according to Red Sea Diving Safari, were relatively harmless moon jellyfish.
Red Sea Diving Safari also replied to many of the comments and stated:
Just to clarify for anyone who is concerned, the decision to let this family and young child go was not undertaken lightly. The decision was passed from the diving centre to village management then to senior management of RSDS who discussed the matter with the parents and established how experienced they were and how much time the child had spent in the sea previously. This, along with completely flat sea conditions, was what led to this trip going ahead. The safety of all our guests, no matter what age, is the most important thing. We will do whatever we can to allow anyone (and we’re not just talking about age here) to enjoy the Red Sea as long as it is safe to do so.
In places like Thailand and the Philipines, it’s common practice for a child to learn to swim at an incredibly young age. It is because of this, that they become better adapted for swimming. This includes an increased ability to see underwater and to hold their breath. But some could argue that this exposure is also risky, especially in the presence of wild animals. What do you think? Was this mother in the right or the wrong?