Waiter at Indian restaurant saves customer with Heimlich manoeuvre

A waiter at an Indian restaurant was applauded by customers after saving a young man’s life with the Heimlich manoeuvre.

Sheakh Rifat, 24, a student in the UK from Bangladesh, was working at Bangor Tandoori in Wales on Sunday evening when he spotted a customer having trouble breathing.

He brought the man out from his table and successfully performed the Heimlich manoeuvre, leaving the patron “very grateful”.

He told the PA news agency: “I was looking around the restaurant – are the customers OK or not? Do they need anything else?

“I was going back to the till… I noticed something really very wrong with Jake (the customer). His face went red and tears were coming from his eyes.

“He was struggling to breathe.

“It took me like two or three seconds to realise what it could be. I pulled him out and brought him into the corridor, grabbed him from the back on the stomach very tightly, and I shook him.

“After a few attempts a piece of chicken came out and he started breathing again.”

Mr Rifat said he received a round of applause from the restaurant, and described the customer’s recovery as “a big relief”.

Sheakh Rifat, 24, a waiter at Bangor Tandoori in Wales
Sheakh Rifat, 24, a waiter at Bangor Tandoori in Wales (Sheakh Rifat/PA)

He also that his father had saved him from choking when he was a child.

“He’s a nice guy, he was really very grateful,” said Mr Rifat of the customer.

“He hugged me and we had a chat when they were leaving. He took a picture with me and he offered me a good tip!

“In the beginning I refused the tip because I’m Muslim, and in our religion if you are helping someone you have to do it selflessly.

“Honestly it’s a great feeling. I never dreamed in my life that I’m going to be in the news.

“What gave me more satisfaction and more happiness is that Jake is safe.”