Police Sergeant Virginia Umayam and a young man from Ngaraard saved a man who drove his car into the water off of T-Dock, late Monday evening.
Officer Umayam was off-duty and parked in her car at T-Dock when Mr. Nelson Visa, a 55-year-old Philippine national, drove his vehicle off the east side of the dock and into the water at around 9:00pm.
Mr. Lawrence Rdialul, a 20-year-old man from Ngaraard who was close to the scene of the accident, rushed to the victim’s assistance and leapt after the vehicle, which was sinking about 15 feet from shore. After removing a tire-wrench from the trunk of her car, Officer Umayam followed Mr. Rdialul, and between the two of them they managed to break the windshield of the sinking car and drag the victim to safety.
Mr. Nelson, who had been alone in his car at the time of the accident, was taken by emergency responders to the Belau National Hospital and treated for minor injuries.
The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) issued a statement commending both Officer Umayam and Mr. Rdialul for their “bravery and quick actions” in rushing to the victim’s aid without instigation.
The initial incident is believed to have been purely accidental, and not alcohol-related.