A young man in Vietnam drowned on Thursday after saving the lives of a woman and her two children who had fallen into a river.
The Thanh Hoa Province department of fire and rescue announced on Thursday evening that Le Thi Loan – a teacher at a secondary school in the province’s Tinh Gia District – and her two children lost their footing and fell into a river while releasing a common carp into the waterway earlier that day.
Hoang Duc Hai, a senior at a university in Hanoi, heard the cries for help and swam into the river to successfully rescue the family. Unfortunately, the icy cold current swept him away before he could save himself.
It took police three hours to find the body mainly due to the chilly weather and rising tide.
Locals said that Hai was visiting from Hanoi to enjoy the Tet holiday with his family.
Freeing common carp into rivers and lakes is a common practice in Vietnam on the day the Kitchen Gods journey from earth to heaven.
The carp is believed to be the gods’ means of transport. This year, the event took place on Thursday.
The Kitchen Gods, considered part of the household in Vietnamese folk culture, are imagined to report family problems and successes to the heavenly king.