A British diplomat has won plaudits online after he dived into a river to save a drowning woman in China. A video of the daring rescue act has gone viral on several social media platforms.
The British consul-general in Chongqing, Stephen Ellison, was taking a stroll by a river when he saw a 24-year-old woman falling into the water after slipping on rocks. Panic struck among the onlookers when the woman struggled to stay afloat and disappeared under a footbridge. Wasting no time, the 61-year-old diplomat sprung into action to rescue the woman.
In the 2.20-minute viral clip, Ellison can be seen taking off his shoes and diving into the river.
Watch the video here:
We are all immensely proud of our Chongqing Consul General, Stephen Ellison, who dived into a river on Saturday to rescue a drowning student and swim her to safety. pic.twitter.com/OOgXqsK5oe
— UK in China 🇬🇧 (@ukinchina) November 16, 2020
After Ellison, who takes part in triathlons, gets a hold of the woman, a person can be seen throwing a lifebuoy attached to a rope into the water. Ellison then carries the woman to safety using the lifebuoy, and people pull the pair to the riverbank. “Thanks to the rescue, the student soon resumed breathing and regained consciousness,” Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua reported.
Since being shared online, the clip has prompted several reactions, with many wondering why none of the passersby or onlookers reached out to the woman first. Others debated that very few people in China actually know how to swim.
Look there’s a person drowning!
Chinese: Point and shout. Get phone out and video. Shout and point some more.
British: Hold my shoes.
— Jonathan Carr 🏴 (@MrJonathanCarr) November 16, 2020
I hope he’s got diplomatic immunity because there’s a good chance he’ll get sued for compensation for some reason.
— Grablowkickasso (@grablowkickasso) November 16, 2020
learning to swim should be compulsory from a young age
— L0uiseHall (@louisec49) November 16, 2020
why didn’t anybody else jump in to help?
— Adam S (@adams050572) November 16, 2020
No, most Chinese cannot swim. They don’t learn to swim as we do in the west when we are young.
— Mini Van Hella (@HellaMini) November 16, 2020
Most people stand there, shout and scream but do nothing. Good on you Stephen, no hesitation, shoes off and into the water. Well done!
— extermin8who (@extermin8who) November 16, 2020
Now that’s how you improve international relations 👍
— Ruairi lynch (@Ruairilynch7) November 16, 2020
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