Hero in Penang bridge drama almost drowned while saving woman
Despite the harrowing experience, auxiliary cop says he is glad he was able to save the woman who had jumped off the bridge.
Auxiliary policeman Zaidi Salleh is happy to have saved a life.
GEORGE TOWN: Hours after he dived into the sea to rescue a woman who had jumped off the second Penang Bridge, auxiliary policeman Zaidi Salleh shudders at the thought of how he had almost drowned in the strong currents of the South Channel.
But he did not regret his actions as it saved the womanâs life. âI did not expect anything. I am a trained diver and I did it for humanitarian reasons,â Zaidi said.
Zaidi, 52, a retired air force flight sergeant, works for bridge concessionaire Jambatan Kedua Sdn Bhd, He was on duty when a colleague radioed at about 11am that a woman had jumped o ff the bridge.
The father of three got on his motorcyle at the bridge operatorâs office in Batu Kawan and sped to Km9.9 of the bridge, 5 minutes away, and arrived about 10 minutes after the woman had jumped.
The woman could be seen clinging on to a pillar in the water.
âI thought the water was calm and I could save her. I took a tow-cable from another maintenance vehicle and scaled down to the pillar,â he told FMT.
He then swam towards the 28-year-old woman and both of them held on to the pillar for 20 minutes,
As the currents became stronger, Zaidi found it impossible for them to hold on to the pillar or the towing cable, so they held each other.
They were then swept away by the strong current to the middle of the channel. He said he had almost drowned by this point, but they then saw a discarded fish container and used it as a buoy.
âI told the woman to hold on to the container. I was getting weak at that time. I told t he woman to remember that it was a sign from Allah that there was always something to hang on to and life was precious,â Zaidi said.
After another 20 minutes battling the sea and trying to stay afloat, they were rescued by fishermen from the Pulau Aman jetty who had been alerted by the authorities.
They were brought to a nearby jetty where they received immediate attention from a fire and rescue paramedic team.
The woman had jumped off the bridge at 11am after parking her Toyota Avanza car on an island-bound stretch of the bridge. It is learnt that the woman had been depressed because of family problems.
A Penang Fire Department official said she was in stable condition in hospital.
As for Zaidi, he did not consider himself a hero and was happy he helped to save the womanâs life.
Woman jumps from Penang bridge, man jumps to her rescue
Fishermen rescue woman who jumped from Penang bridge
Source: Google News