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January 18, 2012

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Chef saves drunken man who fell in river

A Shanghai office worker fell into a river after drinking too much at his company's annual banquet on Monday night and was saved by a chef working in a nearby restaurant, police said yesterday.

"I dropped my spatula and rushed out from the kitchen after hearing customers shouting that somebody fell into the water," said Du Zhongjun who works at a curry restaurant in the Pudong New Area.

The 41-year-old near-drowning victim surnamed Chen was seen grasping an air-conditioner tube and floating unconscious in the river outside the restaurant at 9:15pm, the 32-year-old chef told Shanghai Daily.

"I just did what I should do and feel okay as the victim has yet to say thanks to me," Du said. He said Chen did not eat at his restaurant.

Chen managed to swim several meters toward the riverbank but stopped just short, seemingly exhausted, said Doris Hu, who was eating in the restaurant and called the chef to save Chen.

The chef first extended a wooden stick to Chen, who failed to take it. Du then crouched on the bank, asked another chef to hold him and managed to reach Chen to finally take him up, Hu said.

Chen had a pale face and kept trembling in his soaked clothes after being salvaged, said Du, who called the police and an ambulance. The victim was unconscious, his eyes were red and water filled his mouth and nose, said a police officer surnamed Zhou.

Chen was sent to a nearby hospital and was in good condition, the police said.

Chen only has a small capacity for wine but was asked to drink a lot by his colleagues at the company banquet, said his father, who thanked the chef who saved his son.


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