Updated Thursday 11.20am

Prime Minister Robert Abela said he intended to reward a Sliema resident who jumped into the sea to assist a man who was swept to sea at Qui-Si-Sana on Wednesday night. 

Sean Meli's timely intervention, together with the Armed Forces, helped bring to shore the two who were pulled in by the violent waves.

Witnesses told Times of Malta the two were dragged out to the sea at around 7pm. Southeast winds had been whipping up strong waves around the east coast since the afternoon. 

Meli, who happened to see the incident, immediately jumped in and managed to save one of victims with the help of the police who held ropes from the former Chalet site. The Armed Forces of Malta were also on site within minutes to provide assistance.

"Had Meli not jumped in, the man would have died," a witness told Times of Malta. On social media, the resident has been widely hailed a hero for his timely intervention.

Passers-by gathered on site and shouted out to the two victims to try to steer away from shore to avoid being injured against the rocks. 

The second man was picked up by an AFM boat in an operation that lasted over 20 minutes. 

Police said the victims are a 37-year-old Libyan national and a 14-year-old Chinese.

Video taken by a reader

Both were taken to Mater Dei Hospital by ambulance.

Their condition is not yet known.

In a post on Facebook, Prime Minister Robert Abela said he intended to reward Meli for his bravery.

"The man who carried out the heroic act in Sliema to save a person should be recognised. I will make sure this happens at the opportune moment. I have no doubt there is nothing more satisfactory than saving a life. As a society we need to recognise this."

Opposition leader Bernard Grech also paid tribute to Meli, saying such acts gave him hope in humanity. 

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