THIS is the heartbreaking moment when Josh Martin met the little girl his brother died trying to save.

Since the Good Friday tragedy, when a current pulled little Rihanna Milabo and her parents, Shyra, 30, and Rickel, 32, from hip-deep water out to sea, the Filipino family had been hesitant to make contact with the Martins, afraid of the reaction they might face.

Seven-year-old Rihanna Milabo burst into tears as she was hugged by Josh Martin, it signified the moment two families – strangers whose only link was a tragic death – came ­together. (See the moment here.)

Kneeling down, he hugged a sobbing Rihanna, whispering into her ear, “I can see why he wouldn’t leave you — you’re absolutely beautiful”.

rihanna 2

Ryan Martin was farewelled in an emotionally-charged memorial yesterday, at the scene of where he died trying to shield seven-year-old Rihanna from jagged rocks and 2m waves, according to the Gold Coast Bulletin.

“We didn’t think anyone would save us,” sobbed Shyra.

“I didn’t know how they would react, but they are a beautiful family — they just wanted to meet Rihanna.”

“It all happened so fast,” she said.

“We were just playing in the water near the rocks and then we were swept out to sea.

“Rihanna would not be alive today without everyone who helped us.”

The family of the young girl has called for their “guardian angel” to be honoured for his bravery.

Toowoomba dad Rickel Milabo, 32, said he owed his daughter’s life to Mr Martin, describing the rescuer as a selfless hero.

“We will be forever in his debt — he saved her,” he told the Bulletin yesterday

“I want him to be given a bravery award so his family can remember what he has done for us,” he said. “He is a hero, our guardian angel.”

Our thoughts are with the family.

Share your comments below.

Image via Gold Coast Bulletin

We may get commissions for purchases made using links in this post. Learn more.
  • Watching the wee video I got tears in my eyes, such emotional moments ! But he died a hero indeed.


  • So sad, but he truely was a hero.


  • such an emotional photo it brought tears to my eyes.this man should receive a bravery award .the most heroic act someone can do .


  • This brought me to tears. How awful. I hope this brace man is appropriately honoured.
    His brother sounds like a special guy.


  • What a brave gesture to meet with Ryan’s family. I’m glad it went well.
    Neither family will forget Ryan’s dedication or will they forget this special meeting. Ryan, may you Rest in Peace.


  • A truly selfless act. Ryan is a hero without a doubt.


  • what an emotional meeting. And a fantastic hero Ryan was.


  • Oh gosh what a beautiful family and such lovely words to say to such an innocent soul.


  • Beautiful words from Josh. RIP Ryan, I don’t think you will be forgotten any time soon x


  • Wow, that would have been very emotional


  • This is so heartbreaking. Ryan gave his life to save this family. He’s really a hero. RIP :-(


  • What beautiful words from Josh.


Post a comment
Like Facebook page

LIKE MoM on Facebook

Please enter your comment below
Would you like to include a photo?
No picture uploaded yet.
Please wait to see your image preview here before hitting the submit button.
Your MoM account

Lost your password?

Enter your email and a password below to post your comment and join MoM:

You May Like


Looks like this may be blocked by your browser or content filtering.

↥ Back to top

Thanks For Your Star Rating!

Would you like to add a written rating or just a star rating?

Write A Rating Just A Star Rating