Police salvage the body of Deng Jinjie who died while rescuing a family of four from the Sunshui River in Luodi city in south China's Hunan Province on Tuesday, July 3,2012. [Photo: voc.com.cn]
A rescued family apologized Tuesday for ignoring the death of a man who saved them from drowning in the river that runs through Loudi city in central China's Hunan Province, the local news portal Voc.com.cn reports.
Deng Jinjie, 27, jumped into the Sunshui River last Tuesday to save the family of four, including a mother, father, their child and the child's aunt, from drowning while they were swimming.
According to a witness surnamed Fu, as the family swam in the river on July 3, the parents remained in the shallow water a few meters away from their child, who wore a life ring that kept floating downstream away from the child. When the child struggled to stay afloat, the adults tried to save the five-year old but were unsuccessful.
Deng, who was walking his dog on the bank of the river, jumped into the water with two other passersby to rescue all the family members and bring them safely ashore. But Deng ran out of energy and drowned in the rapids. After he disappeared in the water, the family did not try to find and rescue him but left the scene, saying the matter had "nothing to do with them."
The incident triggered a controversial discussion online, and many netizens criticized the rescued family's behavior.
"To be cold and indifferent in front of their child, it's likely that in the future when they are in the need of their child's help, their child will be even more cold and indifferent towards them than this," said one netizen known as "fllc1234" about the family's behavior at the scene.
According to the report, the rescued family was from the city of Shaoyang in Hunan and worked in the home renovation business.