Random Act Of Sport: Bystanders Form A Human Ladder To Save Man Who Fell Into Icy Water

The staggering rescue effort took less than one minute

When it comes to quick thinking and teamwork, a handful of citizens in the Kunming area of China set the bar pretty high after noticing a disturbing sight along the town’s river: An elderly man had lost his footing on the riverbank and fallen in. Having lost consciousness in the near-freezing waters, he was adrift and face down near the bank when several bystanders noticed him and immediately sprang to action.

In addition to being dangerously frigid, the water in the river was infested with sewage and toxic refuse, so potential rescuers wouldn’t be able to enter the water.

First, one man was supported over the icy waters, hoping to hook the man’s foot with an outstretched umbrella:


When that didn’t work, the people onshore formed an impressive human ladder, allowing the nearest ood Samaritan to grab his foot and pull him to land:


The heroism didn’t stop there, though. Once pulled to safety, the man remained unconscious, so resuscitation efforts were underway. A citizen performed CPR until the ambulance arrived, saving the man’s life.

This all took place in just less than a minute, which might be the most efficient use of teamwork and problem-solving we’ve seen—ever.

In “Random Act of Sport,” GOOD highlights extraordinary athletic feats by ordinary folk.