Vietnamese awarded premier’s merit certificate after losing life saving mother, two children

The young man drowned after rescuing the three family members

People gather at the scene of the accident in the north-central province of Thanh Hoa on February 8, 2018. Photo: Thanh Hoa police

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has posthumously granted a certificate of merit to a brave young man who had lost his life saving a mother and her two children from drowning.

The Prime Minister’s Certificate of Merit was awarded to Hoang Duc Hai, who hailed from the north-central province of Thanh Hoa and was a senior at a university in Hanoi.

Hai lost his life on Thursday afternoon after saving a local woman and her two children, who fell into the Ghep River in Thanh Hoa Province.

On that day, Le Thi Loan, a high school teacher, took her children to the riverbank to release some common carp as part of the traditional practice during the Kitchen Gods’ Day.

While performing the ritual, the three lost their footing and fell into the water.

Hai heard the cries for help and swam into the river to successfully rescue the family.

Le Ba Khanh, 15, and Le Ngoc Vuong, 20, also joined the rescue effort.

Hai managed to save the three family members but icy cold currents swept him away before he could save himself.

Competent authorities were able to find Hai’s body about three hours later.

Hai had used all of his strength trying to push the last victim to the riverbank before being swept away, Vuong told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Friday.

“He was wearing a thick jacket which could have become very heavy after being soaked,” Vuong added.

Alongside the certificate of merit, PM Phuc also provided VND20 million (US$882) in support for Hai’s family.

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