Sergeant Lê Hoàng Khang in the water looking for victims of the barge sinking accident in February. Photo courtesy Sóc Trăng Police
SÓC TRĂNG — When he dove 5m down into the cold water to save a woman trapped in a barge sinking in the Hậu River, sergeant Lê Hoàng Khang wasn't worried about the risk to his life.
“When I jumped into the river, I had a feeling of discomfort and was very scared because the river was flowing very fast at that time”, Quân recalled.
“But I thought about the victim's family who lost their loved one so I had to try to find the victim,” the sergeant said.
The barge, owned by Trần Vĩnh Xuyên, travelling from Cần Thơ Province to Sóc Trăng Province in Hậu River capsized with five people on board in February, including a woman and two children.
Sergeant Khang was assigned to dive into the river to find the victims and found someone alive in the barge’s cabin.
After hours struggling in deep and cold water, he managed to bring one victim out of the river. The two kids, unfortunately, went missing and were found dead later.
Khang was one of the police officers who attended the 10th National Patriotic Emulation Congress earlier this month
“Since being a student in secondary school, I dreamed of becoming a policeman,” said Khang.
“I wanted to serve the country,” he said.
After graduating from high school in 2016, Khang signed up for the police service and was assigned to the Fire and Rescue Police Department of Sóc Trăng.
In his four years of service, Khang has participated in more than 20 fire and rescue cases.
He has also trained local people on fire control and prevention.
Among the rescues, he has faced some unforgettable, heartbreaking scenes.
“I clearly remembered that was an evening of October 1st, 2018,” Khang recalled.
“My teammates and I received an order to quickly rescue a 9th grader who was drowning in Long Đức Commune, Long Phú District,” he said.
At the scene, he was assigned to dive into the river while his teammates sat on the boat for support.
Although the river was not large, it had just been dredged so it was quite deep and the water was flowing strongly.
“When diving into the river, I felt a little bit scared because it was dark at that time,” he said.
“But thinking about how the pain of victim's family would pile up if the body was not found so I had to try to find the victim's body,” he said.
It was past midnight (more than nine hours since the incident) but the victim was still not found, so the leader of the unit ordered the withdrawal of troops for the next day to find more.
Khang continued his work the next day.
Although he was tired and had injured his leg, looking at the pain of the victim's family and the encouragement of his teammates, Khang kept diving into the river.
After more than three hours, he found the victim’s body.
Khang received the merit of Sóc Trăng Police for his bravery.
After three years serving as an intern policeman, Khang became a policeman on the payroll of Sóc Trăng Police last year.
His latest mission was rescuing victims of the barge sinking in Hậu River.
“Once I have determined that our responsibility is to save people, I did not hesitate to plunge into the water to save victims,” Khang said.
“Saving victims is the joy and happiness of the soldier. I think, in my position, everyone would act like that,” the sergeant said. – VNS