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WATCH: ‘I Was Scared He Would Die In My Arms’: Sean Meli Speaks Out On Heroic Rescue

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Sean Meli has spoken out for the first time about his brave initiative in saving a young Chinese national from drowning in Sliema.

Interviewed by TVM, Meli said he was walking to his father’s house when he saw chaotic scenes at the coast of Qui-Si-Sana, with people looking out to the sea.

“I could see that someone was drowning and I saw a rescue boat circling around for him, and I thought they would rescue him,” Meli said. “However, then I noticed that the rescue boat couldn’t see the man, that it’s flashlight wasn’t reaching him and that it was turning away.”

It was at that moment that Meli knew his swimming skills as a former water-polo player could come in handy and so he decided to take matters into his own hands.

Photo: TVM

Photo: TVM

“Obviously the police tried to stop me to protect me but I kept on going, stripped down to my boxers and socks and jumped into the sea,” he said.

“I swam to this person, who I realised was a young Asian man, told him not to panic and slapped his face a bit to release saltwater he had swallowed. I then started swimming with him in my hands towards the rescue team, which lifted him out of the water.”

Meli said he didn’t feel scared at all, except for a moment before the rescue team had successfully lifted the Chinese boy out of the sea.

“I was scared that he would die in my arms, which would have been so traumatic. That was the only time I was scared but thankfully he was saved.”

Meli has been widely praised for his act of bravery, with some people calling for him to receive the Ġieħ ir-Repubblika, Malta’s highest honour.

Prime Minister Robert Abela today said he intends to grant Meli some kind of recognition.

“There can no doubt that there is nothing more satisfactory than saving a life, but society needs to recognise people like him,” he said.

Cover photo: TVM 

Should Sean Meli receive Ġieħ ir-Repubblika for his bravery?

READ NEXT: Prime Minister Hails ‘Heroic’ Sean Meli And Pledges To Give Sliema Rescuer Recognition

Tim is interested in the rapid evolution of human society brought about by technological advances. He’s passionate about justice, human rights and cutting-edge political debates. You can follow him on Twitter at @timdiacono or reach out to him at [email protected]

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