News Story

Missionaries Save Lives of Four People in Kiribati

After car flips and lands in lake, young volunteers come to the rescue

Two missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently saved the lives of four men whose car crashed into a lake in the Pacific island nation of Kiribati.

Elders Ulas and Elder Patane, both serving in the Marshall Islands / Kiribati mission were riding their bikes on a lightly used road on the island of Tarawa when they saw a car speeding towards them.

The missionaries stopped and watched the car as it drew closer, when it suddenly veered off the road, flipped upside down and came to rest in a nearby lake.

As can be seen in the accompanying photograph, the passenger compartment of the car almost totally submerged in the murky water. 

The two missionaries instantly ran towards the half-submerged car and Elder Ulas entered the lake while his companion, Elder Patane, stayed on the bank to call for an ambulance. 

One of the rear car doors was jammed but fortunately a front door could be opened and Elder Ulas was able to pull all four men out one at a time to the safety of the lake bank.


By the time the fourth man was pulled out of the submerged vehicle, the other three men had run away. However, the driver had sustained serious injuries and was bleeding. 

Acting quickly, Elder Ulas used a piece of the broken windshield to cut the shoulder straps off of his back-pack to make a tourniquet to slow the blood loss.   

After several phone calls and a lengthy wait, an ambulance arrived with medical support. 

The injured driver thanked the missionaries for their selfless and brave action and commented that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints "really live what they preach."

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