An 18-year-old schoolboy drowned after heroically saving four others from drowning in a river in the north-central province of Nghe An Tuesday.
Nguyen Van Nam of Do Luong 1 High School in Do Luong District saw four of his juniors drowning in the Lam River, jumped in, and managed to pull three ashore.
He returned to save another, and reportedly used the last ounce of strength he had to push the boy to shore.
Exhausted, he was swept away by the current.
When the boys shouted for help, people came running and jumped into the river to look for Nam, but to no avail.
His body was later found some 100 meters away.
The four boys had got into the river to bathe, and were swept away by the strong current.
A day earlier two girls aged three and five and a three-year-old boy fell into a pond in the province's Quynh Luu District and drowned.
The Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs said the number of child drowning deaths in Vietnam is 10 times higher than in other developing countries.
The largest number of cases occur in Hanoi, the north-central provinces of Nghe An and Thanh Hoa, and the Mekong Delta provinces of Tien Giang, Dong Thap, An Giang, and Long An.
The country has 3,260 kilometers of coast and innumerable rivers and canals, but the government has failed to enable schools to teach their students swimming, experts say.
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