Not all heroes wear capes, but many wear a uniform. Everyday, rescue personnel put their lives on the line to save the lives of others. Sometimes, they emerge victorious, other times they don’t, and often, they end up sacrificing their own lives.
As a tribute to the unsung heroes for their service and dedication, here’s a look back at three incidents this year that saw rescue personnel losing their lives to save people:
#1 The Six Rescue Divers Who Drowned Looking For A Missing Teen in A Mining Pool
A rescue mission involving a teen believed to have drowned in a mining pool ended in tragedy when six Bomba personnel lost their lives trying to look for him. The rescue team was searching for the 17-year-old boy, who apparently fell into the mining pool while fishing there with two friends.
The six divers were Mohd Fatah Hashim, 34; Izatul Akma Wan Ibrahim, 32; Mazlan Omarbaki, 25; and Yahya Ali, 24 from the water Rescue Team (PPDA) of the Port Klang Fire and Rescue station, and Adnan Othman, 33, and Muhammad Hifdzul Malik Shaari, 25, from the PPDA team of the Shah Alam Fire and Rescue station.
During the rescue mission at 9.15pm on 3 October 2018 in Taman Putra Perdana, the divers found themselves entangled by their safety ropes after the current suddenly surged, causing their diving equipment to come off. The six divers were eventually pulled out of the water, and CPR was performed on them, but it was too late.
The incident happens to be the first of its kind in the history of the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department, and has left the Bomba community in grief.
#2 An Air Traffic Controller Who Died Helping A Plane Escape An Earthquake
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‘Batik 6231 runway 33 clear for take off’. This was his last transmission to me then we replied. Thank you for keeping me and guarding me till I’m safely airborne. Then he jumped out of tower broke his leg and arm. Wing of honor for Anthonius Gunawan Agung as my guardian angel at Palu. Rest peacefully my wing man. God be with you.
Anthonius Gunawan Agung, 21, was an air traffic controller at the Palu Airport in Indonesia. Last Friday (24 September), a Batik Airways plane was sitting on the runway with 147 passengers and crew members on board waiting to take off.
At 6.02pm, less than a minute before a 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck the area, the plane managed to take off. Immediately, the tower began to shake. Everyone fled the tower except Agung, who waited until the passenger jet was fully airborne before he jumped out the fourth floor of the collapsing building. He later died from injuries incurred during his fall.
#3 Former Navy Seal Diver Who Died Trying To Save Thai Football Team Trapped In A Cave
On 23 June 2018, 12 boys and their football coach got trapped in a flooded cave in Chiang Rai, Thailand for 18 days. Rescuing the boys proved to be an extremely dangerous mission because the boys, who could neither swim nor scuba dive, had to navigate out of a dark, 2.5km cave system, which was constantly being filled with water due to the rainy weather.
Saman Kunan, 38, a former Thai navy SEAL, volunteered to help the rescue mission by placing oxygen tanks along a potential escape route in preparation to save the boys. During an overnight mission, Kunan died on his way back from placing the tanks after he fell unconscious from lack of oxygen. A fellow diver attempted to revive him, but they were unsuccessful.
What brave, selfless heroes. We take our hats off to these brave individuals.