Nimrod Machani (27) has been working as a Tel Aviv coast lifeguard for four years. His father Shimshon, 60, was employed as a seaman for many years and between voyages, also worked as a Tel Aviv lifeguard.
Two years ago Shimshon moved to Koh Samui, Thailand where he opened a surfboat business for local tourists. At the end of the summer season in Israel,
Nimrod decided to visit his father in Thailand and help him in setting up the new business.
Last week the father-son team went out on their daily rowing course. "The weather here is tropical," Shimshon explained. "Things can change in a second. And indeed, on the way back, the weather changed all at once. The winds got stronger and the waves grew tall."
Suddenly, they noticed two swimmers who were crying out for help. "Their Kayak had overturned in the storm and was swept away, they were left alone in the water," said Shimshon. "They didn't have much of a chance."
The two lifeguards rowed towards the drowning men. "When we reached them they were already at the point of exhaustion," nimrod noted. " "We loaded them on to the surf boat and kept rowing towards the shore, a kilometer away."
For 45 minutes the two battled against the winds and the waves with the swimmers on board. "When they came around and started talking among themselves I noticed they were speaking in Persian. I was born in Iran
and speak the language. I told them in Persian: 'Don't be scared, you're in good hands," Shimshon recalls.
When they reached the shore the two, who introduced themselves as Mundar and Ali, hugged and kissed their rescuers and thanked them.
"When we told them we're Israelis they just got up and fled," Nimrod noted.
David Regev contributed to this report