Tourist In Langkawi Drowned After Insisting Diver Save His 13-Year-Old Son First

"Please save my son."

Cover image via New Straits Times

On Sunday, 23 June, a family of four vacationing in Langkawi were at Pantai Cenang for an afternoon at the beach when tragedy struck

Image via

51-year-old Husain Musaad Alawfi from Saudi Arabia was sitting on the beach with his wife while his two sons were swimming in the water.

Suddenly, 13-year-old Abdul Rahman and 21-year-old Yasir Hussain were sucked out to sea by a rip tide, New Straits Times reported.

The father immediately jumped into the water to get to his sons, who were still in the safe zone within 20 meters from the beach

Ung Eng Huan - a 60-year-old former marine biologist and rescue diver - who was also at the beach, witnessed the incident and heard screams for help in Arabic.

Ung Eng Huan (left).

Image via New Straits Times

"I knew I had to help the family so I took off my shirt and glasses and jumped in too... by that time the undertow of the rip tide had dragged all three to about 40m from the beach," he said.

Ung, who has over 500 dive experiences under his belt, said that he had to "use all my strength to swim towards the family".

When Ung reached the man, he was with his 13-year-old son, clinging onto a small wood to stay afloat.

"They were crying out in Arabic to each other. The other boy was nowhere to be seen," Ung explained.

After drifting for a few minutes, Husain finally pleaded to Ung in English to "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," he added.

The 60-year-old grabbed Abdul Rahman and swam towards some rocks. He then tried to calm him down as he called out for his father.

"The father was no longer in sight but his voice seemed to be yelling some words of comfort to his crying son," the marine biologist said

Ung could not swim back to the father as the sea was too rough and he was against the current.

The Civil Defence force eventually found Ung and Abdul Rahman and a rescuer stayed on with the pair on the rocks for about an hour before a boat came and took them ashore.

Husain's body was nowhere to be seen.

They were then informed that the older brother had also been rescued.

Husain's body was recovered three hours after he was last seen at about 3pm

On Monday, 24 June, the family left Malaysia.

The Saudi Arabia embassy is making arrangements to fly the victim's body back to his country, New Straits Times reported.

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