The story appears on

Page A4

October 19, 2010

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Metro

'I felt powerless when I found him'

A DIVING instructor has told how he tried in vain to save a three-year-old German boy who drowned in a lake on Sunday afternoon.

Wu Bin was searching the murky waters of a 5-meter- deep artificial lake at Violet Country Villas in Qingpu District, when he reached out and located the boy.

But tragically, the child was already dead. Wu then helped recover the boy's body.

The child was taken to hospital, where he was officially pronounced dead.

Wu, a 31-year-old amateur diving instructor, had rushed to the scene with his diving equipment following a call from a resident. Police and firefighters were already searching the lake with nets.

Witnesses said a group of foreigners had been holding a party near the lake, and the boy, whose father was German, must have slipped away from his parents.

"I was at home at a family party when I received a call from a resident," Wu told Shanghai Daily. "At that time, they didn't know if the boy had fallen into the lake. All they knew was that the child was missing."

Wu said he hesitated for a moment, as amateur divers are discouraged from becoming involved in rescue work. However, Wu, who teaches children to swim in his neighborhood and is himself the father of a five-year-old, decided that he had to help.

He rushed from his home in Putuo District and called a friend to bring torches for him. "In the car, the only thought I had was that I hoped the boy was not in the water."

Arriving at the lake at about 5:30pm, Wu discovered that visibility in the water was appalling. "The water was very muddy and visibility was so poor that I couldn't even see my hands," recalled Wu. "In addition, the lake was thick with water weed, further increasing the danger."

Wu dived into the lake at 6pm, assisted by his friend who helped guide him.

After an hour searching, Wu reached out in the blackness at a corner of the lake and felt the boy's leg. "I felt absolutely powerless when I touched him," Wu said.

The tragedy deeply affected Wu, who was unable to sleep that night. "I could have met that boy when he was alive," he said. "Such thoughts tortured me."

He added: "I'd rather hear he'd been kidnapped than what happened. At least that way he would have had a chance of surviving."


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend