An 80-year-old man from China is being hailed a hero this week as he rescued a young boy from drowning in the river outside of his house, a feat he also happened to pull off for the boy’s father 30 years ago.
The young child had been playing with his grandmother close to the river at around 9:00 am when he lost his footing and plunged into the water. Seeing him struggling to stay afloat, Xu Weifang, an elderly resident of the waterside neighborhood, sprang into action.
Ijiangyin.com reported that Xu Weifang, aided by his wife, climbed down into the water and quickly realized that, at around 1.7 meters deep, it was a dangerous stretch of the river. Nevertheless, unfazed by the danger to his aging body, the 80-year-old was able to successfully drag the boy to safety.
In an unusual case of déjà-vu, when Xu Weifang was later visiting the boy in the hospital, he realized a strange coincidence. He had also saved the child’s father from the very same river 30 years earlier when he too had accidentally slipped into the water.
Speaking of that prior rescue, the superhero senior recalled how he had dived in to save the struggling boy, but added that with old age and physical ailments, his diving days were behind him.
The elderly man seems to have made a bit of a habit of playing the hero and is no stranger to jumping into the river that runs by his Zhutang house in Jiangyin to help those in need. He has previously saved three other people caught in its clutches since he’s been living there. He’s not alone either. His wife has also played her part, pulling one person to safety herself.
Accomplished as the dynamic duo may be as honorary neighborhood lifeguards, their days of heroic duty might soon be coming to an end. Though Xu Weifang is clearly still more nimble than most people his age, he admits that he is not as agile as he once was due to lasting injuries he sustained after falling down a set of stairs a couple of years ago, which left him bedbound for several months.
Still, at 80 years old and with six rescues under their belts to date, the pair have certainly earned themselves a restful retirement.