A Swedish man is being heralded by local media as a hero and "foreign Lei Feng" after he rescued a drowning woman from the Jinjiang River.
Witnesses say that a crowd had gathered around near the Jinjiang Bridge after a person was spotted in the river at around 10 at night on December 6.
Not long after, a man emerged from the crowd, tore off his coat, and ran into the river. He swam about 10 meters before he was able to grab a hold of the woman.
Onlookers applauded as he pulled the woman to the awaiting rescue team at the bank of the river. But the applause was followed by surprised gasps when the rescuer's face became visible. Eyewitnesses said he left the scene shortly after, but a West China City Daily reporter located the rescuer in the hotel where he was staying.
The man is identified as simply "Harald," a 53-year-old Swedish man visiting China for the first time.
He told the reporter that he was in Chengdu on a 10-day business trip, and that although this was the first time he had rescued somebody from a river, it was not a big deal, in part because the river in Chengdu in wintertime isn't as cold as Sweden's rivers in the summer.
The woman he rescued was taken to the hospital, and she was identified as being in her 50s, but she and her family refused to discuss how she ended up in the river.
A Shanghainese woman who had seen the rescue and realized she was staying in the same hotel as Harald was so moved by the scene that she later purchased a bouquet to present to him, saying that seeing his action had changed her life.
Photo by qq