A teenage boy heroically saved a 13-year-old girl from drowning by rushing into the ocean in a small wooden boat last week.
The incident reportedly occurred in Penunjuk Kijal beach in Kemaman, Malaysia, at around 5:30 p.m. on Friday when the girl was swept away by strong currents while swimming during a picnic with her parents.
Muhammad Zulfikal Asmadi, 14, told Harian Metro that he was talking to other fishermen when he heard screaming, noting that he did not notice the family.
Zulfikal immediately ran to the scene and saw someone drowning. He noted that the distance between the wharf and the family’s location was about 200 meters (approximately 656 feet).
The teen, a student at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Kijal (SMK Kijal), said that only the girl’s father was trying to save her when he arrived at the scene because of the strong waves that were around 1 meter (approximately 3 feet) in height.
At the location, Zulfikal immediately asked a friend for help to carry a sampan — a flat-bottomed wooden boat — from the wharf to the beach so that he could use it to save the girl.
“I lost my fear at that time because of my intention to save the victim, and I paddled the sampan hard towards the drowning kid,” he said, adding that he needed to be careful while approaching the girl so that she would not get hurt by the boat, which was being thrown about by the waves.
The teen was successful in saving the girl, noting that the incident was the first time he had saved someone from drowning. The girl was later taken to a nearby clinic and transferred to Kemaman Hospital, according to reports.
On Saturday, a video of Zulfikal’s heroic deed was shared on the Facebook page Terengganu Disaster Information, where it has received already over 417,000 views.
Hoping that the recent incident would be the last, Zulfikal warned people not to swim at the beach during monsoon season since many people have already lost their lives due to drowning.