River hero dies after rescuing drowning family

A young man lost his life after rescuing a family from drowning in a river.

Deng Jinjie, 27, has been hailed a local hero after he rescued a family from drowning in a river in the city of Loudi in Hunan province, China.

Initial eye-witness reports reported that a family of three was swimming in the Sunshui River when a child of about five years old appeared to have drifted downstream.

His parents, who seemed to have difficulty rescuing their son, called for help and that was when Deng, who was then taking his dogs for a walk, jumped in to save them. Two other men also joined in to help with the rescue effort.

But in an unfortunate turn of event, Deng, drowns after saving the family.

It is believed that he could have run out of strength after rescuing them and was swallowed by the rapid waters.

His body was retrieved one hour later on July 3, 2012.

According to some eye-witnesses, the family left the scene immediately after they were rescued and did not stay back to help Deng.

What got Chinese netizens even more riled up was when the mother of the boy said it was "none of their business" when locals asked why they were leaving.

The incident sparked outrage online with many netizens calling the family "heartless" and "inhumane". They even called for their names to be made known in public and a search to be conducted to find out their identities.

But a man and two women made a surprise appearance at Deng's funeral on July 10. They are believed to be the ones who got saved on the afternoon Deng died from drowning.

It seems there were not three, but four persons who were rescued by Deng, including the boy's aunty.

The three kowtowed to Deng's grieving parents and in front of Deng's portrait in his home, reported Sina news. They were also weeping and appeared seemingly repentant.

This is not the first time someone has drowned in Sunshui River. In April 7 this year, a teenager accidentally drowned while swimming with his four friends.

Sunshui River is apparently a popular swimming spot for locals in summer.

Deng was believed to be a well-liked man, who loved his dogs and worked as a construction worker.

maryanns@sph.com.sg

Become a fan on Facebook

COMMENTS