NGHE AN (VNS)— Exhausted after pulling five students to the riverbank safely, a 19-year-old boy drowned in the Lam River in central Nghe An Province on Tuesday.
The teenager, Nguyen Van Nam jumped into the river after hearing the students scream for help.
"I saw my friends being swept across the river for 20 metres, so I shouted for help," said Nguyen Ngoc Diep, an eighth-grade girl, who had stayed on shore.
"Nam helped us one by one to the shore."
Four ninth-grade and one sixth-grade student had been swept away from the riverbank by a powerful current of water. The students, who had been playing in the river, which runs through Trung Son Commune in Do Luong District, were trying to swim to a river buoy when they began to struggle.
After helping four ninth-grade students to the riverbank, Nam went back to get Nguyen Huu Do, a sixth-grade student who had lost his grip of the buoy and was sinking into the water.
"As Do was pulling up to shore, I could no longer see Nam. I ran to the village to call for help," Diep said.
Nam's body was found after a three-hour search.
Nguyen Trong Hoan, head of the provincial Department of Education and Training's Administration Agency, said the department would ask the President of the country to give a Medal of Courage to Nam.
"Nam is a kind-hearted and studious student. He has always had good marks," said Nguyen Thi Kieu Huong, principal of Do Luong No.1 High School in Trung Son Commune. Nam had received a scholarship for poor students.
He was awarded a posthumous certificate of merit for his bravery from the Do Luong District's Youth Union. — VNS