World Media

China praises British diplomat for saving drowning woman

British Consul Stephen Ellison pulled a drowning girl out of a river in China- video

He said the woman swam into the river, and "it was clear he had a problem".

Ellison quickly hopped into the fast-flowing water bring her back to shore.

Mr Ellison has lived and worked in China for nine years and will be the new Consul General in Chongqing.

Video footage showed Ellison, who takes part in triathlons, take off his shoes before jumping into the deep river.

A British diplomat in China was captured on film saving a Chinese student from drowning in a river.

Mr. Ellison then grabs the top of a rubber ring that was thrown into the water by the spectator, before dragging the woman to some rocks by the water where others help her.

He acknowledged there had been some "some very kind comments" online about his actions, adding that he was "so pleased the young girl was OK".

After the student recovered, she and Ellison drank together, the diplomat told the BBC.

Allison, originally from Newcastle, is the head of the British Mission in Chongqing, where his role is primarily to support bilateral trade ties between the United Kingdom and China.

Relations between China and the United Kingdom have been rapidly deteriorating over the past year, amid rows over Hong Kong, tech firm Huawei and coronavirus.

"Regardless of our act heroically is a virtue and should be praised", wrote another.

Mr Ellison has since drawn praise on Twitter-like Weibo after the video went viral.

Drownings are all too common in China, where many people do not know how to swim; in a 2018 article on the problem, Global Times, a Chinese Communist Party newspaper, lamented that "Chinese culture places little importance on learning swimming skills".

The hashtag #New U.K. consul in Chongqing bravely rescues girl from the water has been viewed 260,000 times on the social media app Weibo.