24-year-old Venezuelan man saves woman from river in Guangzhou

24-year-old Venezuelan, Carlos, near where he rescued a woman from a river in Guangzhou. Photo by Li Zhan
24-year-old Venezuelan, Carlos, near where he rescued a woman from a river in Guangzhou. Photo by Li Zhan

According to witnesses, around 3 a.m. Saturday morning an inebriated woman fell into a river in Guangzhou’s Haizhu district after a fight with her boyfriend.

Hearing the commotion of the resultant onlooker crowd, a 24-year-old Venezuelan man, Carlos, asked his taxi driver to stop. Though he could not see the woman in the river, he removed his shoes and cell phone, and entered the cold dark water.

Onlookers located some safety equipment and threw him a rope and two liferings. It took Carlos several minutes, but he found the drunk woman and safely got her back to shore, where her family was waiting for her.

From The Nanfang:

When they got there, the woman was breathing okay and her family had already arrived, having called 120. In the end, she did not need to be taken to hospital and the family treated the rescuers to beer and a meal to express their gratitude.

Carlos, who has been in Guangzhou for just over a year and trades in electrical parts, said his inspiration was Zheng Yilong, the policeman who early this year lost his life saving a tourist who had fallen into the Pearl River.

Carlos is just the latest South American to impress local Chinese with his altruism. In 2011, a Uruguayan woman was awarded for jumping into a lake and rescuing a woman who had attempted suicide in Hangzhou. Last year, a Brazilian was beaten up in Dongguan for helping prevent a mugging. He was later awarded.

This year, Shenzhen introduced the country’s first Good Samaritan Laws in an attempt to make such acts the norm.


  1. Always nice to hear laowais who demonstrate such altruistic behavior – especially jumping into the waters near any Chinese city or river. No offense, I’m a decent swimmer but I doubt I make it out of half of the lakes, rivers and streams I’ve seen in China given the pollution levels. Nice break from the rather cold and rather hypocritical responses to the post regarding detained Britons.

  2. I may have saved a Chinese girl one night. I was with my wife, and saw a girl in her early 20’s very upset, walking down the middle of a busy road at night. She had just been in a serious fight possibly breakup with her boyfriend. I think she was just so shocked to see some foreigner come up and start talking to her at that moment, that she came to her senses and walked to the sidewalk.

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