Following Bibi’s rescue, and the rescue story’s subsequent appearance in the press, many people were quick to hail Soemawinata as a hero. However, the photogenic young man remained modest about his actions. “I’m a part-time model, so getting into my jocks isn’t so different to what I do for work,” he joked to the Herald Sun.
When quizzed further, Soemawinata – who was a dog owner himself – said he didn’t need to think twice that day. He followed the unfortunate Bibi into the briny water almost automatically. “It was pretty cold and windy,” he admitted. “But it wasn’t such a hard decision to jump in, it wasn’t such a great feat.”