Man Let Go of Drowning Girl to Save Himself, Netizen Reactions



From Sina:

Man Tried to Save Drowning Girl, But Because She Was Too Heavy Chose to Let Go to Save Himself


On the afternoon of the 7th, Wu Bo, Chen Min and two other friends were hanging out at Lianhua Lake Scenic Spot in the Dazhou suburbs. To everyone’s surprise, Chen Min and the other girl accidentally fell into the lake. Wu Bo, who was swimming in the distance came to save them. According to him, he grabbed one of the girl’s hand, but he couldn’t save her because she was too heavy, so he had to let go, in order to save himself.

Yesterday [July 8], facing the reporter of this article, the 28-year-old Wu Bo sank to blaming himself. Him letting go, his friends being swallowed by the lake in the blink of an eye, this scene kept repeating itself like a scene in a movie in his mind…

Girls Fall into Lake

“The two girls were playing by the bank hand in hand. Suddenly I heard a scream, and they fell into the lake.”

A few days ago, I met the 17-year-old Li Qing, who worked at a tea house. Then, through friends’ introduction, I met the 18-year-old Liu Hai and the 17-year-old girl Chen Min. Chen Min had just taken her college entrance examination. The four of us had a lot in common, so we decided to hang out that weekend.

On [July] 7, it was a sunny day. I received a call from Li Qing, he asked me to hang out at Lianhua Lake. The four of us went to the scenic spot by bus. Because it was very hot, we chose a remote area to play in the water. It was a slope, and the rocks around the lake were steep.

Liu Hai and I went into the lake for a swim, and we swam toward the lake’s center. The two girls were playing by the bank hand in hand. After a while, Liu Hai told me his belly was aching, and he needed to use the bathroom, so he swam ashore. Not long before he did so, I heard a scream. When I looked back, I found that the two girls by the bank had fallen into the lake. That happened at about 4pm in the afternoon.

Letting Go in the Water

“Should I hold on or let go? If I held on, I might end up dead, too.”

Both of them didn’t know how to swim! I couldn’t think so much at the time, and I swam toward them from 7-8 meters away. I grabbed one of the girls by her hand, though I didn’t know whose. I just wanted to pull her out of the water. But she wouldn’t stop struggling and was dragging me into the water as well where I choked on a mouthful of water. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t pull her up, and I myself was beginning to sink.

I held on for more than a minute, but I just couldn’t pull her up, because she was too heavy, and wouldn’t stop struggling. I thought to myself, I’m not a good swimmer either. I was in a dilemma, should I hold on or let go? If I held on, I might end up dead, too.

After struggling a few times, I chose to let go, chose to save my own life first, then find another way to save them. After I let go, I watched them drown. I cried for help in the lake, but this area was too remote, and nobody came. At this time, Liu Hai heard my call and rushed to the bank. We found a 3-meter-long bamboo stick, and were planning to try the depth of the lake before going back in to try saving them. But because the lake was too deep, the bamboo stick couldn’t reach the bottom, we ultimately didn’t dare get back into the water.

Only Guilt is Left

“I hate myself for not being able to save them, I am truly sorry!”

At that very moment, a speedboat sped by by. I yelled at them, but the people on the boat didn’t hear me. After the speedboat had passed, we continued to cry for help and went looking for someone to help us. A few minutes later, the people on the speedboat heard our cries and returned, joining in the rescue.

A man on the boat jumped into the lake to save them, diving into the water many times. Watching him dive into the water repeatedly, we too were very nervous. We so hoped that he could save them. But to everyone’s shame, because the lake was too deep, he failed. There was no other way. The man drove his speed boat away, told us he was going to fetch the rescue gear. After the man had left, we went back to the shore to cry for help again. But because this area was too remote, we ultimately couldn’t find anyone. I felt very helpless then, and I could only go back to the lake and wait, hating myself for letting go, for not saving them.

More than 10 minutes later, the police and some of the the scenic spot’s employees arrived. Half an hour later, one of them girls was recovered and brought ashore. At about 7pm in the evening, the other girl was also recovered ashore. But unfortunately, both of them were dead.

I am so ashamed, I hate myself for not being able to save them, I am truly sorry! (Reported by intern reporter Jiang Long of Chengdu Commercial Daily)


According to lawyer Zhang Tianhong of Sichuan Qianheng Law Firm, this was an accident, and Wu Bo only had a moral obligation to save them [as opposed to legal obligation], and in this incident, he already fulfilled his obligation. There’s no need to be too hard on him.

Is He Legally Liable?

According to Zhang Tianhong, Wu Bo wasn’t the one who caused the danger, didn’t have a legal obligation to save them, and therefore can’t be considered negligent. The person in charge at Lianhua Lake Police Station also said that Wu already tried his very best to save the two girls when they were drowning, so he will not be held responsible. Right now, the police are still investigating this case. The family members of the two girls say the two men are definitely responsible. Through police negotiations, the two parties have reached a preliminary agreement where the two men will each give 50,000 yuan as compensation, but the agreement has yet to be fulfilled.


Comments from Sina:

w木爺w [北京海淀]:

There’s no need for you to feel guilty. After all, your own life is also life, it is also priceless. When you are powerless, choose to give up. No one will blame you unreasonably. After all, you tried your best!

沈嘉柯 [湖北武汉]:

He had already tried to save them, morality should shut up.

手机用户 [天津]:

Why should they compensate the families of the deceased? Those who tried saving someone but failed also suffer greatly in their hearts. China has already become a morbid/abnormal society and if it goes on like this, strangers will no longer be willing to help each other because the moment they start helping, you can only succeed, you can’t fail, or you’ll have to die trying. Likewise, in most Chinese people’s eyes, no matter good people or bad people, no one respects a stranger’s life.

JK_Nuke_丘海杰 [广西防城港]:

Should all three of them be dead to make it a heroic ending? Chinese people’s sacrifice-oneself-to-benefit-others thinking is so loathsome.

腐-优酱 [天津]:

I’d definitely let go, saving yourself first before saving others is common sense. Living and dying together, do you think this is a soap opera?!

胖子在秋天里 [新加坡新加坡]:

Let go. Or there would be three deaths.

醉卧江南独钓雪 [江苏苏州]:

When trying to save someone in the water, it is absolutely forbidden to do so by grabbing their hand. Usually, you wrap your arm around the drowning person’s neck from behind, to keep his/her head above the water as you drag them ashore. Otherwise, for someone who doesn’t know how to swim, he/she will grab onto anything his/her hands can reach with all his/her strength.

诗雯婷丝服饰旗舰店 [北京]:

In fact, when a fat person is drowning, don’t struggle, but try to keep your body relaxed, and you’ll slowly float to the surface.

手机用户 [湖北武汉]:

Damn, you asked the girls out and take them to swim, everybody knows what your dirty minds were up to. You intentionally chose a remote area to hang out, and suddenly something dangerous happened, but you didn’t have the courage to sacrifice your own lives to save them. Why didn’t you bring out the courage you had when you were asking them out to save them? Now they’re dead, do you think a sorry will suffice? Are the families of the two girls supposed to suffer this kind of outcome?

手机用户 [内蒙古呼和浩特]:

Suggest elementary schools and high schools provide swimming lessons, popularize swimming to all people. Actually, learning how to swim is not difficult. Those who are good with water can manage it in 3 days and given half a month, you can be a good swimmer. The government should feast and drink less, build some swimming pools for the children. What a wonderful thing that would be.

Comments from QQ:

腾讯网友 银河之光:

Son, you already tried your best.

腾讯网友 娟娟:

They already tried their best, must they sacrifice their own lives in saving them to be virtuous, to have fulfilled their responsibility? It isn’t as if they saw people dying and didn’t try to help. They couldn’t save them, and now you want them to pay compensation? If so, who will have the courage to save other people in the future? It’ll still be better being a bystander, not having to bear any responsibility, but still being able to rubberneck and watch the show!

腾讯网友 Cautious:

Saving yourself first before saving others, that is correct! Every life is precious!

腾讯网友 人冬:

Saving people is a social morality issue. They already did their best, but they have to compensate now that they have failed? I don’t think this makes sense. If everyone solves problems like this, is there anyone in China who would dare be a Good Samaritan? This is suppressing China’s positive energy [discouraging desirable behavior]. Moreover, the families of the deceased, just what right do you have to demand they pay compensation? If nobody bothered in this kind of situation, what could you do?

腾讯网友 如水:

“The family members of the two girls say the two men are definitely responsible. Through police negotiations, the two parties have reached a preliminary agreement where the two men will each give 50,000 yuan as compensation, but the agreement has yet to be fulfilled.” It’s one thing that they family members didn’t show any gratitude, but to extort them for money? That they went down to try saving them is already nice of them, do they have to sacrifice their own lives before you’ll let the matter drop?

腾讯网友 魔女海星:

As long as you’ve tried your best, everything’s okay. You’ve done enough.

腾讯网友 Fate.Monster:

Damn, Lei Feng is dead, and them going into the water was good enough already.

腾讯网友 海芋:

You tried your best, you are not to be blamed.

腾讯网友 ▄︻┻═┳一:

I support you, and despise those who belittle you! You did your best!

腾讯网友 友友:

One should make sure of his/her own safety before saving others, right? Those who are alive shouldn’t be so selfish. Do you think it’s easy to save someone who’s drowning?

What do you think?


Written by Peter Barefoot

Peter is a born and raised Chengdunese who enjoys drinking with all his friends.


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