Last week, Japanese and Chinese websites were abuzz with the news of a heroic rescue in China and the alleged theft that followed.
At around 3PM on October 14, a foreign gentleman who happened to be at the famous Shanghai sightseeing spot, the Bund, spotted a Chinese woman leaping into the river in an apparent suicide attempt. Without a moment’s hesitation, the man followed her into the water to save the woman from drowning. However, once the rescue was finished, the man returned to where he’d left his belongings–only to find them gone! Once the news that the hero’s belongings had been stolen while rescuing a drowning woman hit the Internet, Chinese commenters fell into dismay, posting harsh criticisms of their fellow citizens.
And we have to admit that it would be pretty shocking–if it were true!
When the story first broke, it didn’t take long to make it to Japan, thanks to the Japanese-language Chinese news site Xinhua. Since part of our mission here at RocketNews24 is keep you up-to-date on what the buzz is on the Japanese Internet, we decided to cover the story. But Xinhua’s account was a little sparse on details, so we tried digging up some more information, which was when we discovered another source completely contradicting the allegations of theft!
Once the police got wind of the scandalous news, they immediately went back and reviewed the security footage of the area but found zero indication of any theft. From there, someone finally decided to ask the foreign man if he’d had his belongings stolen. The answer? A definitive no! It seems that the hero is a regular jogger, who usually makes his way along the waterfront in the mornings, but that day, fortunately enough, he had to postpone his run until the afternoon. In other words, he’d never had any belongings to be stolen in the first place.
If you’re wondering how this wild rumor got started, it turns out that a Chinese microblogging site originally reported the story, adding the theft based on the fact that the foreign man didn’t have anything with him in the photos! As grave of an oversight as this is, it’s not really anything new in any country–earlier this year, photos of mutant vegetables were wrongly labelled as being the result of “Fukushima radiation.”
This isn’t the first rescue to attract the attention of Japanese netizens this season: just last month a 9-year-old Japanese boy was rescued by a Chinese exchange student after the boy fell into a river swollen with heavy rain water. That particular story still makes our eyes get leaky when we think about it.
Anyway, all’s well that ends well, we suppose, but please, people, try to avoid falling into rivers! There’s not always going to be a hero there to save you…