Swimmers in flood peak refuse rescue efforts by firemen

A video of seven swimmers refusing rescue by firemen in a steam boat on the flooded Jialing River has gone viral, Beijing Youth Daily reported.

A video of seven swimmers refusing rescue by firemen in a steam boat on the flooded Jialing River has gone viral, Beijing Youth Daily reported.

The group of swimmers, claiming to be members of a swimming club, said they entered the river on purpose to “experience” drifting in the rarely seen flood peak. 

In the video, they refused to accept life buoys that firemen were planning to throw towards them.

Firemen from Chongqing’s Beibei District received a report that some people were seen in Jialing River around 5pm on July 13. They decided the situation was critical as flood alerts had been issued that day and the water had reached a dangerous level.

Some firemen in a boat located the swimmers while another group drove along the river on a highway near Shuitu Pier.

Two swimmers climbed up to the rescue boat after more than 10 minutes of persuasion from firemen, but they jumped into the river again shortly afterwards.

According to Liu Jinqiang who directed the rescue operation that day, it was probably not the first time the seven swimmers had attempted such a feat as they had professional gear.

They also chose to swim in the middle of the river, which helped them avoid the whirlpool.

Firemen escorted them until 7pm and then severely criticized the swimmers when they finally went ashore.

Netizens also condemned the swimmers’ irresponsible act as having "no respect for their own lives" and also squandering public rescue resources.


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