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61-Year-Old Diplomat Dives Into Cold River To Rescue Unconscious Student

A student fell into a river and a British diplomat in China jumped in and saved her life.

61-year-old Chongqing Consul General Stephen Ellison helped rescue a 24-year-old woman from Wuhan whom he spotted in the river not moving.

“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,” the British Embassy’s official Twitter page wrote as they posted the video on Monday.

Ellison wrote a statement to the BBC to explain how the situation unfolded, “She was unconscious, she was not breathing and for a short time we feared the worst. But as we got back to the side, she started breathing again.”

The young woman was unnamed but it’s been reported that she expressed gratitude for saving her life. She invited Ellison to dinner at her parent’s house to show her gratitude. 

As soon as he completed the rescue, he was greeted by grateful villagers, who called him a “hero” and provided him with clothes and warm drinks. A popular site called Sina Weibo, says, “You’d call such a person a knight in the UK; in China we call him a hero.” Another site says, “For such a big official to go into the water himself to save someone… you’ve got to like this.”

The video has been seen over a million times after being posted across various social media platforms. With that, people in China are shocked by the inaction of the people who did not jump in themselves to go and help this woman. Many have expressed that they are “shocked.” According to BBC’s Kerry Allen, this pattern of inaction has served as a reason to debate over whether or not China has a “morality” issue.

Moises Mendez II

Written by Moises Mendez II