LANGKAWI: “Please save my son”, pleaded the Arabian tourist, who drowned in Pantai Cenang, Langkawi, to a 60-year-old marine biologist who braved the high waves to save him and his sons.
Ung Eng Huan said he immediately grabbed the man’s 13-year-old son and swam towards the rocks.
“The father and his younger son were clinging onto a small wooden plank when I went into the sea to save them.
“I left the plank for the father, hoping that he could hang on to it.
“I could not swim back, as the sea was very rough and I was against the current,” Ung said, adding that there were several cuts on both his hands and feet.
Ung, who is an amateur photographer, was conducting a photo shooting session at Pantai Cenang in Langkawi, when the incident occurred on Sunday (June 23).
“My model and I were at the beach around 3pm, as the sun came out after a storm.
“We saw an Arab family enjoying themselves by the beach.
“The couple were resting at the beach, whereas their sons were playing in the sea.
“The boys were within the safety zone, which is around 20m from the shore and did not look like they were putting themselves in danger,” Ung who is also a trained rescue diver, said.
“Suddenly, we saw the boys struggling and were yelling for their parents.
“The father immediately went into the sea to save his son.
“The undertow of the rip tide had dragged all three to about 40m from the beach,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ung said the hotels, leisure boat operators and civil defence should come up with a means of communication to interact with each other, especially during storms that coincide with high tides to reduce the likelihood of such tragedies.
Langkawi OCPD Supt Mohd Iqbal Ibrahim said the tourists - Husain Musaad Alawfi, 51, his wife and their sons Abdul Rahman, 13, and Yasir Husain Aloufi, 21, were in Langkawi for holidays.
“Husain was staying at a nearby resort with his family.
“The Langkawi Civil Defence Force (APM) rescuers managed to save Yasir.
“The remains of Husain were found almost three hours later.
“The family left Malaysia on Monday (June 24) night, and the embassy will make arrangements to fly Husain's body back to his country,” he said.