Laowai to the rescue

I’ve shared more than one bone-head foreigner story on here, so it’s a nice change to read a story of the opposite happening.

Thursday afternoon, upon seeing a woman drowning (allegedly an attempted suicide) in Hangzhou’s West Lake, a 30-something American tourist wasted little time jumping into the famous lake and swimming to the rescue.

Shanghai Daily: A middle-aged woman jumped from the lakeside Wenshui Pavilion at about 4:40pm, said witness Liu Yong, a security guard at a dining and shopping complex near the pavilion.

Liu said he was preparing to go to the woman’s aid, but before he had taken off his uniform, the foreign tourist had already dived into the water.

“When she jumped into the lake, the drowning woman was about 20 meters away from the pavilion and was sinking. I could only see her hair,” Liu said.

“But the foreign lady swam quickly to her, held up her chin with one hand and used the other to swim back.”

“She was so professional and agile. It took her less than two minutes to swim back to the bank,” he said.

Am I just overly cynical thinking that her jumping in the water was preceded with, “Why the hell aren’t any of these people doing anything?”

UPDATE 2011-10-24: Comments below have pointed out that the foreigner that did the rescuing was María Fernanda Gómez Arregui, a Uruguayan who has been living in Shanghai for a few months.