MAKKAH: A Saudi national visiting Austria has been hailed as a hero for saving a child and father from drowning in a lake.
Askar Al-Hajiri was in Hallstatt along with two colleagues when he saw a young girl fall from a five-meter-high fence into the lake.
And after rescuing the girl, the Saudi Embassy in Vienna hailed Al-Hajiri as a “hero” for his courageous actions.
The embassy would like to thank Saudi citizen Askar al-Hajri for his brave act earlier this week. While visiting Hallstatt he saw a man and his daughter drowning and dived into the lake to save them. We offer our gratitude to this Saudi hero.
— Botschaft des Königreichs Saudi Arabien in Wien (@KSAembassyAT) August 10, 2022
“The embassy would like to thank Saudi citizen Askar Al-Hajiri for his brave act earlier this week. While visiting Hallstatt he saw a man and his daughter drowning and dived into the lake to save them. We offer our gratitude to this Saudi hero,” the embassy tweeted.
Prince Abdullah bin Khalid bin Sultan Al-Saud, Saudi ambassador to Austria, also thanked Al-Hajiri for his bravery.
The act of courage was also praised on social media after the video was streamed of Al-Hajiri and his relative in the lake after he had saved the child and her father.
The clip was circulated online, with social media users across multiple platforms praising the Saudi as “a hero.”
Al-Hajiri told Arab News that he heard screaming near the lake while on a hike. He rushed toward the water, saying that he was motivated by a “sense of paternity” before the brave act, which “all happened so quickly.”
He added: “We were hiking along the lake of Hallstatt village in Austria, and enjoying sightseeing and beautiful moments in a charming summer atmosphere. There were tourists from all over the world who were enjoying the beautiful scenery of Austria.
“As we were pursuing our photography trip and enjoying our tour, we realized that there was a large number of tourists near the fence of the lake, including a young girl who was sitting on the fence while her family were taking pictures of her. Then we heard screaming coming from the lake. We realized that it was a two-year-old girl who fell from the lake view that was between four to five meters high,” said Al-Hajiri.
The girl’s father then jumped in the lake to save her, but the situation soon worsened.
Both father and daughter disappeared under the water, and Al-Hajiri realized that he had to act.
“Too bad as the father could not rescue her and was about to drown with her. I could not stand the situation so I directly jumped to the lake and first saved the child.
“Then I turned to save the father, thanks to the almighty and to my courageous friends Khaled Salem Al-Hajiri and Bandar Ayedh Al-Hajiri, who picked up the girl and gave her first aid,” he added.
“The mother of the child was in shock at what happened and thought that she had lost her family — everything was like a nightmare for her,” said Al-Hajiri.