Saudi student in UK feels ‘honoured’ after saving man from drowning

Turki Al Shammari didn’t hesitate when he saw someone in trouble

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A Saudi student who arrived in the UK only five months ago has been praised as a hero after he saved a man from drowning.

Turki Al Shammari, a student at the University of Central Lancashire, was walking by a river in Preston in north-west England when he heard someone calling out for help.

Dean Lowe, who is a father, had jumped into the water to try to rescue the family dog but got into trouble in the strong and cold current.

Mr Al Shammari, 27, said he jumped into the river as soon as he saw Mr Lowe “fighting for his life”.

"Without thinking, without hesitating, I immediately jumped in and tried my best to help him. I'm glad I did," he told The National.

“I didn’t have time to think, I just took action.”

Mr Al Shammari, a keen swimmer, said he struggled for about 15 minutes to pull Mr Lowe to safety before police and paramedics arrived.

“As a human being, as a Saudi citizen, I’m honoured to have the chance to help a human,” he said.

“That means a lot to me and I feel like I’ve gained a family here.”

Mr Al Shammari said saving a life made him the happiest he had felt since arriving in the UK during Covid-19 lockdown.

Turki Al-Shammari meets with Dean Lowe, Jessica Williams and their daughter Ella. Saudi Embassy UK
Turki Al-Shammari meets with Dean Lowe, Jessica Williams and their daughter Ella. Saudi Embassy UK

Mr Lowe’s partner Jessica Williams praised him for his quick-thinking and perseverance under trying conditions.

“Turki … is a hero and a beautiful man. He saved Dean Lowe’s life. He saved Ella’s father, my partner,” she wrote on Facebook.

“We couldn’t thank him enough.”

Prince Khalid bin Bandar, the Saudi ambassador to the UK, called Mr Al Shammari to thank him for his efforts.

“The ambassador was delighted to be able to speak with Turki Al Shammari, a young Saudi student who bravely jumped into a river to save the life of a man in Preston,” the Saudi embassy said on Twitter.

Mr Al Shammari said he was glad Mr Lowe was alive and well, but that the dog was still missing.

He said people must always rush to help if they see someone in danger.

“If you have a chance to help, please don’t hesitate.”