British diplomat saves Chinese woman from drowning, becomes internet hero

Stephen Ellison in the center. Image Source: BBC

Stephen Ellison, Consul General of Britain’s mission in Chongqing, China, is being hailed as a hero after he recently saved a Chinese student from drowning.

61-year-old Ellison, only a month into his post as Consul General, was walking past a river in a village near to Chongqing over the weekend when he saw a woman who slipped on the rocks into the deep waters of the river.

The video captured by onlookers and bystanders showed the woman, a 24-year-old student, struggling to stay afloat in the fast-moving currents of the water. She disappeared under a footbridge and reappeared, face down, seemingly unconscious.

Ellison is seen taking off his shoes and jumping into the water to save the woman. He turned the student around, used a lifebuoy thrown into the water by onlookers, and swam with her ashore.

The official account of the UK Embassy in China shared the video on their social media account, posting a message that read, “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.”

A triathlon participant, Ellison said, “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 woman has not been named but local media reports said that she is a student from Wuhan and is studying at the Chongqing University. Though harrowed by the experience, she is said to be recovering steadily.

The video of this valiant rescue has been circulating on social media and has gone viral. People are rightly hailing Ellison as a hero and a role model!

“For a man of such advanced age to save another person from the water in such cold weather, regardless of his own safety, he is a hero and gentleman!” read one comment on the video.

Another said, “The word “Legend” is so often misused and frankly is a bit overused, which can weaken its overall meaning. That does not seem to be the case here. Stephen, you are a Legend. Incredible. Thank you.”

Isn’t this a commendable act by the diplomat? Let us know your views in the comments section below.

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