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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 December 2018

Emirati beachgoer honoured for rescuing couple who fell off jet-ski

Man heard their cries for help, took off his kandura and swam out to the aid of Filipino couple in trouble

Othman Al Naqbi is congratulated by Sharjah Police after his heroics in rescuing a Filipino couple struggling after falling off a jet-ski. Sharjah Police
Othman Al Naqbi is congratulated by Sharjah Police after his heroics in rescuing a Filipino couple struggling after falling off a jet-ski. Sharjah Police

An Emirati man has been hailed a hero for saving a Filipino couple from drowning after their jet-ski had overturned.

Othman Al Naqbi, 37, was walking along Al Loulouah beach in Khor Fakkan, on the east coast, on Saturday afternoon when he heard cries for help.

“I saw a jet-ski turned upside down in the water and two people calling for help. I looked around and didn’t find anyone to help so I immediately called 999 and explained the whole situation and provided them with the exact location,” said Mr Al Naqbi.

He then took off his kandura and jumped into the water, managing to pull the couple out safely despite having an arm injury.

“The couple were shouting for help so I couldn’t wait for the rescue team, so I called one of my friends to tell him that I will jump into the water and try to rescue the couple. I wanted to avoid doing that due to an injury in my right arm but I didn’t have any choice,” he said.

The Filipino couple, who were in their 40s, were 20 metres out from the shore.

“The man was trying to save his wife, who doesn’t know how to swim," Mr Al Naqbi said. "Although they were wearing life jackets, she was panicking and out of control, so I helped calm her down and pulled them both out of the water.

“The rescue team were at the beach by the time we arrived and they immediately provided medical care to the couple.”

The father of four said that his children were excited to hear his story and they said he was a hero.

“It’s very important to encourage our children to help others and teach them the right way to do so and let them take us as an example,” he added.

Sharjah Police honoured Mr Al Naqbi for his role in saving the couple.

“It meant a lot to me to be honoured by the police and the community around me,” added Mr Al Naqbi.

Read more: Police safety warning to Sharjah beachgoers