Story By: William McGee, Sub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash
A young Saudi man who moved to the UK as a student last September has been hailed a “hero” by the wife of a man he saved from drowning.
Keen swimmer and University of Central Lancashire student Turki Al Shammari, 27, was out at a park near the River Ribble in the city of Preston when he heard a cry for help.
The cry came from local resident and father-of-one Dean Lowe, who had jumped in the river to save his dog after it leaped in before and couldn’t get out.
Dean was overcome by the water’s cold temperature and strong current, and also found himself unable to reach safety.
Turki told Emirati news outlet The National: “Without thinking, without hesitating, I immediately jumped in and tried my best to help him.”
He said he struggled for around 15 minutes to drag Dean to safety before the emergency services arrived at the scene.
After the pair reached safety, “the man cried and hugged me, and thanked me for saving his life,” recounted Turki to Saudi news outlet Arab News.
He also revealed that in spite of those 15 tense minutes, saving Dean was the happiest moment of his time so far in the UK.
He told The National: “As a human being, as a Saudi citizen, I’m honoured to have had the chance to help a fellow human.”
Dean’s girlfriend, Jessica Williams, praised the young man for his actions, taking to Facebook to describe him as “a hero and a beautiful man”.
Turki was also contacted by Khalid bin Bandar bin Sultan Al Saud, the Saudi ambassador to the UK, to congratulate him on his bravery.
Sadly, Dean and Jessica’s dog is still missing. Nevertheless, for helping to save Dean’s life, Jessica said: “We couldn’t thank him enough.”
Turki said: “That means a lot to me and I feel like I’ve gained a family here.”
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