When Boontavee Moonsri, a 53-year-old driver at Chiang Muan municipality in the northern Phayao province, took off his clothes and jumped into this fast-flowing river, the only thing he thought was that poor dog must survive.
Mr Boontavee won the hearts of netizens after a video clip showing the moment he saved the drowning dog went viral yesterday (July 19).
The video clip shows him swimming in the strong current of the Phee river in Chiang Muan province attempting to rescue a black dog swept into the water by flash flood.
The dog floated down the fast flowing current and it appeared exhausted and was near drowning.
The dog was saved and brought back to the river bank watched by several people admiring the man’s courage without fear for his own safety.
Mr Boontavee told Thai PBS why he had to risk his life jumping into the fast flowing river to save a dog.
I don’t think anything at that moment but just to save its life, he said.
He then recalled how it happened.
At about 10am on July 19, he was driving along the river bank and suddenly he spotted a swept-away dog floating down the strong current. As he drove close to a bridge, he saw a group of people was watching down the river.
He stopped and parked the car. He then looked down the bridge and saw the dog almost drowning.
With a sudden life-saving instinct coming out in mind, he quickly took off his clothes and jumped into the river to save the dog. It took him about 10 minutes to save the dog.
I tried to swim closer to the dog and at the same time shouted for it to come near. I shouted several times before the dog agreed to swim closer to me, he said.
Mr Boontavee then got hold of the dog and slowly swam back to the bank safely.
The dog then ran away shortly afterwards, he said.
He added that he learned today that the dog now is with its owner, also a resident of Chiang Muan district.
I felt very happy now and delighted to save the dog’s life.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)