"I saw the victim (Abdul Bari Asyraf) holding a girl, and trying hard to stay afloat," said Omar Abdul Aziz Othman, 27.
Omar, who is an officer with the Terengganu's Road Transport Department (JPJ), was among six rescuers who jumped into Sungai Terengganu to rescue a family of five after their Mitsubishi Storm four-wheel drive vehicle plunged into the river at Pulau Warisan, Kuala Terengganu last night (Thursday).
However, Omar and four others survived while angler Abdul Bari, 31, from Kampung Panji, Kuala Terengganu was feared drowned.
According to him, he was with his family when the incident happened, and he bravely jumped into the river after hearing the cries for help.
"I saw the victim (Abdul Bari) trying hard to stay afloat while holding a child, which prompted me to try and grab the child from him.
"However, I failed, and then proceeded to rescue two women and brought them to the river bank," he said in Rusila, Marang.
At the same time, an angler who happened to be at the scene threw a plastic barrel at the victim (Abdul Bari) in an attempt to rescue him.
"However, I'm not sure whether he managed to get hold of the barrel or not, because he was almost drowned at that time.
"The girl was rescued by others who jumped into the river," he said.
In the 9.40pm incident, the family of five, comprising three women aged 23 to 37 years, and two girls aged three and 11 years were almost drowned after their vehicle reversed and plunged into the river.