A top British diplomat has become a hero in China after the video of rescuing a student from a swollen river received tens of millions of views on social media.
The British mission in Chongqing announced on Monday that Consul General Stephen Ellison took action in nearby Zhongshan over the weekend to rescue a woman who fell into a river that runs through the tourist town.
“Due to the timely rescue, the woman quickly recovered from her breathing and her consciousness,” read the article on the official Weibo website of the consulate.
Ellison, 61, was visiting town on Saturday when he heard a shout from a crowd as the woman fell into the water.
Bystander video footage shared by the consulate and various Chinese media outlets shows Ellison, 61, jumping fully clothed into the river where the nameless woman struggled to stay afloat.
We are all very proud of our Chongqing Consul General Stephen Ellison, who plunged into a river on Saturday to rescue a drowning student and get her to safety. pic.twitter.com/OOgXqsK5oe
– Great Britain in China ???????? (@ukinchina) November 16, 2020
Ellison – an accomplished triathlete according to several media reports – dragged her to a lifebuoy that was thrown from the river bank before dragging the two to the bank.
“We are all very proud of our Consul General in Chongqing,” tweeted the British diplomatic mission in China on Monday.
The hashtag “British Consul General in Chongqing saves a student who fell into the water” had received nearly 40 million recognitions on Weibo Monday night when news of Ellison’s bravery spread.
“So that a man of such old age can save another person from the water in such cold weather, regardless of his own safety, he is a hero and a gentleman!” Read a comment that liked almost 2,000 times.
“Regardless of our differences … acting heroically is a virtue and should be praised,” wrote another.
Ellison took office in June after serving as senior diplomat at the British Embassy in Beijing since 2014.
Relations between the UK and China have been strained this year amid the UK’s decision to ban Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei from its 5G networks, as well as UK’s frequent criticism of China’s human rights record on issues such as Hong Kong and Xinjiang.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and posted from a syndicated feed.)