S'porean Man Saves 5 M'sian Teenagers From Drowning In Johor

Out of the group of six teenagers, one of them unfortunately did not make it out alive.

Cover image via Shin Min Daily News

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A Singaporean man unintentionally became a hero after saving five Malaysian teenagers from drowning while on vacation in Johor

The man, 45-year-old Xie Junmin, went to Desaru, Kota Tinggi, with his two daughters and his 43-year-old wife, Li Zhenlin, for a family vacation during the school break on 9 September, reported Shin Min Daily News.

The family's initial plan was to visit the popular tourist spot, Adventure Waterpark Desaru Coast. However, they had arrived earlier than expected and reached the waterpark before its opening.

They decided to enjoy the scenic view of Tanjung Balau beach while waiting for the waterpark to open as the beach was only 45 minutes away.

Xie Junmin recounting the incident.

Image via Cai Zhenhong/Shin Min Daily News

The family was strolling along a bridge in Tanjung Balau around 8.40am when they suddenly heard screams below the bridge

After carefully examining the situation, Li stated that she saw 30 to 40 people shouting on the beach.

She then noticed five to six teenagers in the sea and assumed they were just having fun. However, things quickly changed when she noticed one of them had vanished underwater.

Xie Junmin jumped into the sea to help rescue the teenagers.

Image via Shin Min Daily News

Realising that it was an emergency situation, Xie, a former water polo athlete and swimmer, immediately took off his shirt and jumped into the water in an attempt to save the teenagers

Li shared that two boys and a girl were struggling in the water, while three other girls were clinging to a life buoy. Her husband swam towards them to pull them back towards the beach.

At the same time, a group of students on a boat had rowed to the location to help the teenagers using makeshift wooden planks as oars.

They were able to pull out two of the three teenagers who were not able to cling to the life buoy into the boat. One of the students then performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on one of the rescued teenagers straight away.

The group of students and Xie Junmin rescuing the teenagers on a boat.

Image via Shin Min Daily News

Afterward, Xie swam back to the three young women clinging to the life buoy and helped herd them safely aboard.

Xie also helped in bringing the boat back to shore.

Emergency rescuers then arrived and sent the boy who received CPR to the hospital.

Unfortunately, Xie was saddened to learn from one of the rescued teens that another girl had gone missing.

"He was down the rest of the trip, saying he should have jumped in earlier to save them," said Li.

"I could only comfort him by saying that he'd done his best."

The body of the 13-year-old girl who was missing was later found on the same day

District police chief Supt Hussin Zamora said that the body of Nurish Qhalisya Suhailizam was discovered by rescue workers about 50 metres from where she was reported missing, reported New Straits Times.

"The victim's body was found in a rock crevice and has been sent to Kota Tinggi Hospital (HKT) for post-mortem examination," said Hussin.

Locals the couple spoke to after the incident said the area has a history of drownings and that most beachgoers are not good swimmers.

They also told the couple that one person had died trying to save a drowning swimmer in the past.

Rescuers on duty while searching for the body of Nurish Qhalisya Suhailizam.

Image via New Straits Times

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