On December 6 in Chengdu, the capital of China’s Szechuan province, a crowd had gathered around the Jinjiang Bridge where a woman appeared to be drowning.
To the pleasure of the crowd, a man took off his jacket and dived into the water, dragging the woman to safety.
This video, via Beijing Cream, shows the scene.
However, there was shock as the the man came into the light — he was a laowai.
According to Go Chengdoo, the man left the scene immediately after the incident, but Chinese reporters tracked him to his hotel. The man, a 53-year-old from Sweden later identified as Harald Göbel, had been on a 10 day business trip to Chengdu — his first trip ever to China.
Chinese media has proclaimed Harald a hero, and others staying at the same hotel as him bought him flowers. In Chine he has been referred to as “foreign Lei Feng”, named after a Chinese soldier famous in Communist legend for his bravery.
However, Harald remained humble. “When I saw that the woman was being taken care of by the ambulance staff, I went back to the hotel with my friend, had a shower, and then relaxed in the hotel bar,” he told the Swedish press.