BANGKOK – Phitsanu Hongkamsang who rescued a woman from drowning in the Chao Phraya river on Tuesday said his only intention was to save her, and he did not think about becoming famous.
Phitsanu , a Thai Airways International engineer working at Suvarnabhumi airport, was caught on video rescuing the woman near Kiak Kai pier in Bangkok on Tuesday.
He said on Thursday that he was sitting on a passenger boat when he saw the drowning woman.
“A members of the boat crew threw a lifebuoy toward the woman but she couldn’t reach it, so I decided to jump into the river to help her as quickly as I could.
“As soon as I hit the water I realised that I was wearing a pair of jeans with more than 80 baht in coins in my pocket.
“I tried to take my pants off but couldn’t, so I quickly swam toward her with the lifebelt. When I saw she was starting to lose the battle against the current I threw the lifebelt toward her,” Mr Phitsanu said.
He and the woman were then both able to cling on to the lifebuoy. The boat crew threw a rope to them and took them to shore.
He said he did not talk to the woman after the rescue because she was receiving first aid treatment and he was exhausted.
“I talked with her mother on the phone and she told me that her daughter is now safe,” Mr Phitsanu said.
Mr Pithsanu said he had not thought about getting praise from people for his action. He was only trying to save a person’s life.
Mr Phitsanu said he later realised he had risked his own life and that his wife might have ended up grieving for him if the rescue had failed.
“I want to warn others to be composed, assess the situation and plan ahead before doing anything like that,” said the man who has become an overnight hero to many Thai.
The video clip below of him rescuing the woman went viral on the internet.