(CNN)A British diplomat is being hailed as a hero after saving a drowning college student in southwest China on Saturday.
Stephen Ellison, 61, the British consul-general in Chongqing, was walking by a river in the nearby ancient town of Zhongshan when he heard a woman screaming, he said in an interview with the BBC.He said the woman had slipped into the river, and “it was pretty evident quite quickly that she was in trouble, she couldn’t swim.”Video of the incident posted on Twitter by the British embassy shows a crowd screaming in panic after a woman is spotted face-down in the water. Ellison is then seen jumping in to rescue her. “There was not a lot of time to do anything other than to get in,” Ellison told the BBC.Read MoreAfter Ellison gets a hold of the woman in the river, an onlooker tosses a floatation device into the water. Ellison then carries the woman to the lifebelt, and people pull the pair to the riverbank.”Thanks to the rescue, the student soon resumed breathing and regained consciousness,” Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua reported, citing local authorities, without naming the woman.
We are all immensely proud of our Chongqing Consul General, Stephen Ellison, who dived into a river on Saturday to rescue a drowning student and swim her to safety. pic.twitter.com/OOgXqsK5oe
— UK in China 🇬🇧 (@ukinchina) November 16, 2020 The British Embassy said it was “immensely proud” of Ellison. “His bravery and commitment demonstrates the very best of British diplomats around the world,” Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab tweeted.China’s state-run CGTN reported that some onlookers brought Ellison back to their home after the incident. He was given some dry clothes, coffee and food. They also gave him a 6 meter (20 foot) painting scroll of Zhongshan Ancient Town as a gift, CGTN reported.After the student recovered, she and Ellison had a drink together, the diplomat told the BBC. She invited him for a meal, and Ellison said he’s hoping to accept soon.Additional reporting by Reuters.