‘Parental love is the only love that is truly selfless and unconditional.’ The saying is not an understatement as this father has just lost his life in exchange for his son’s survival.
“Please save my son”, were an Arab tourist’s last words before his body was found three hours after the incident.
Husain Musaad Alawfi, 51, told his rescuer to save his son and left the rescuer no choice but to leave the father for his 13-year old son, Abdul Rahman.
Happened on June 23, Husain and his family members were on Pantai Chenang, Langkawi to spend some leisure time, NST reported.
Amateur photographer Ung Eng Huan was at the beach, having a photoshoot with a model at 3pm.
Ung told The Star that the Arab couple was enjoying themselves on the beach while their sons were playing at the sea, approximately 20m away from the shore which he said it was within the safety zone.
“(It) did not look like they were putting themselves in danger,” said the 60-year-old, who is also a trained rescue diver and a marine biologist.
Suddenly, the boys started yelling for their parents and father Husain rushed to the sea to rescue his children. They were all screaming in Arabic and the older child, Yasir Husain Aloufi, 21, was dragged to safety while the 13-year-old was drifting further apart to the raging sea.
“I knew I had to help the family so I took off my t-shirt and glasses and jumped in too… by that time the undertow of the riptide had dragged all three to about 40m from the beach,” Ung recounted.
Ung swam with all his might to muscle through the waves and got close with the drowning family.
“I managed to reach the father and son who were clinging on to a small wood to stay afloat. They were in distress and crying out in Arabic to each other. The other boy was nowhere to be seen.
“I left the plank for the father, hoping that he could hang on to it.”
After struggling to stay afloat for a few minutes with the tides constantly turning them under, Husain finally pleaded to Ung in English.
“He said please save my son. As a trained rescue diver, I knew I could only focus on one rescue at a time as a double rescue of two persons in utter panic is too dangerous for all.
“So I grabbed the boy and swam towards some rocks,” the 60-year-old rescuer said.
The son was in distress and the father was no longer in sight. However, the father continued yelling words of comfort to his crying son.
Ung tried to calm Abdul Rahman when they were on solid ground, who was still yelling for his father. They were picked up by a boat about an hour after and they were brought back to the shore.
Husain’s body was eventually recovered 30km from where he was last seen, about three hours later.
In another report by NST, it is learned that the boys swam in the sea despite a Red Flag was there to warn holidaymakers against swimming due to high waves and strong currents.
The family left Malaysia on Monday and the Saudi Arabia embassy is making arrangements to fly the victim’s body back to his country.
We wish the family strength to pull through this grieving period and we thank Ung for his courageous rescue.
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