A man has been hailed as a hero after he saved six people when their boat sank in a river but then tragically drowned himself.
Ivan Willian Coelho, 36, and six others were travelling by boat on a river near the community of Lontra da Pedreira in a rural part of Macapa municipality, Amapa state, northern Brazil on Monday, 12th September.
But disaster struck when the rabeta – a typical vessel from the Amazon region resembling a canoe with a motor at the stern – began to take on water around 300 metres (328 yards) from the port.
Witnesses told how Ivan selflessly saved those on board from drowning in strong currents as the boat sank.
According to some accounts, one of those he rescued was his wife, who did not know how to swim.
But after helping the six passengers to safety, Ivan complained of cramps and began to shout for help.
However, before anything could be done, he disappeared under the water’s surface.
His death was confirmed when officers from the Fire Department found his lifeless body shortly before 6.30pm the following day.
Ivan reportedly leaves behind not only the wife he saved but also a son.
His wake was held at his grandmother’s house in central Macapa on Wednesday.
In a social media post, his sister-in-law wrote: “Congratulations, my warrior, for your bravery, honesty, and for saving the lives of my sister and nephew.
“Thank you for being that incredible human being.”
While a childhood friend said: “He swam a lot. It could have just been a cramp. He sold chips, hamburgers, he was a good friend.
“He will be missed.”
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Story By: William McGee, Sub-Editor: Michael Leidig, Agency: Newsflash
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