Rescuer turns liability as he can’t swim
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Bui Nguyen Thanh D. (11 years old) in Chau Thanh district, the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang last Friday jumped into a canal to rescue his drowning friend even though he himself cannot swim. As the rescuer started to sink, the victim was able to hold on.
Previously D. was playing alongside a canal with a friend who later tripped and fell into the water.
Looking around, D. saw no one so he decided to jump into the canal to save his friend who was struggling to stay afloat.
While D.’s friend emerged from the water and managed to clutch onto a canal’s bank to get ashore, D. started to sink. Luckily a passerby arrived and quickly jumped down to save him.
When brought ashore, D. had stopped breathing and was given first aid before being taken to a hospital where he was resuscitated.
Luckily the 11-year old brave boy was brought to consciousness.
When a doctor asked the why he jumped into the canal even though he could not swim, D. answered simply: “I saw no one around so I risked my life to save my friend. But I didn’t anticipate the consequence.”
According to the doctor, instead of jumping down, D. could have shouted out loud to get people’s attention. Then he could search for a twig, plastic box, water bottle or banana areca to throw to the drowning victim as buoy.
These floating items can be attached into a long rope to drag victim ashore. The rope can be made of clothes tied together.
If enough people are available, they can make a chain by holding hands out to the victim.
In Vietnam about 3,500 children on average die of drowning every year.
Since the beginning of this year, more than 200 children have drowned nationwide, according to Nguyen Trong An, deputy head of the Department for Children Care and Protection, under the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs.