A Lebanese policeman has shared a personal experience in which he saved a family from drowning, risking his own life in the process.
A Cry for Help
During a trip to the beach with family and friends in 2019, policeman Hussein Hassan heard someone calling for help as he was coming to the shore after a swim.
He went back into the water, where he found a young man drowning. Hassan elevated the victim’s body and pushed him toward the shore while instructing him to swim forward.
“When he reached land, he said to me: ‘leave me, there is a little girl drowning ahead and I couldn’t get her out,’ ” Hassan says in a video recalling the incident, posted by the Internal Security Forces (ISF) on social media.
“I approached and lifted her until the canoe arrived. We took the girl off my shoulders and placed her on [the canoe].”
In the meantime, two more members of the same family were struggling. The policeman dove underneath the drowning woman and pushed her up to help her breathe until another canoe arrived.
From there, Hassan headed toward the remaining victim, who had gotten stuck in the sand.
“We got him out of the water, then a wave hit me in the face, made me swallow water, which entered the lungs. I was underwater, and underwater, the current pulled me away a bit,” he recalls.
When he resurfaced, Hassan was unable to breathe. “I knew at this point that water had entered the lungs and that air was exiting and no air was entering at all.”
As he ran out of oxygen, Hassan’s vision began to fade. “I gave myself in, and I said: ‘God, this is your trust.’ “
While in this state, he heard someone yelling for him to come toward him. “When he grabbed my hand, I was surprised, shocked at how I’d reached him so fast, despite the long distance.”
Two people proceeded to carry Hassan out of the water and onto the sand, where he lost consciousness shortly afterward. The family was saved, and the brave policeman recovered.
Unfortunately, not all drowning incidents end like this, and victims don’t always live on to tell the story; The number of drowning victims recorded in Lebanon in the past two months alone proves how life-threatening swimming can be if safety guidelines are ignored.
This is why policeman Hussein Hassan and the ISF have shared this story: To raise awareness on the risks that accompany swimming, especially in the sea.
So, the next time you go swimming, make sure to take all necessary precautions to guarantee a safe and enjoyable trip for yourself and your loved ones.