Firefighters swim through raging floodwaters to save a trapped couple
Dramatic moment fearless firefighters swim through raging floodwaters to save a trapped couple in China
- A couple were stuck in a river while trying to drive a tractor across in China
- They were stranded in the rapid currents for four hours before being saved
- Firefighters braved the mucky waters and rescue the pair using zip lines
- One rescuer showed signs of drowning after being hit by gushes of waters
A Chinese couple have been saved after getting stuck in rapid floodwaters for more than four hours.
Courageous firefighters risked their lives as they swam across the raging river to reach the pair.
One of the rescuers was nearly drowned by gushes of mucky currents before they dragged farmer Li Zhongqi and his wife to safety using zip lines.
Farmer Mr Li and his wife were stuck on their tractor in the middle of Ulungur River in China
Firefighters and policemen try to set up an anchor point to pull a zip line across the river
Mr Li and his wife were driving a tractor across Ulungur River to fetch items from home on June 23 in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
Mr Li and his wife called for emergency service at 10am and reported that they were trapped in the 50-metre-wide (164-foot-wide) river.
A team of 12 firefighters were sent to the east bank of the river, at about 15 metres (49 feet) away from the couple.
The floodwaters measured two meters deep (6.6 feet), according to China Fire Brigade.
According to team chief Liu Xiaojun, they tied a rope around a stone and threw it towards the couple, however, the current flushed the rope towards downstream.
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Officer Liu said it would take his colleagues three hours to drive to the west bank, so he called for support to the west bank and tried to set up an anchor point for zip line rescue.
Footage emerged on Aksu Firefighters’ official social media account shows Mr Li and his wife standing on top of their tractor in the middle of the floodwaters.
Firefighters had to battle against the water flow as they approached the couple.
One of them dragged Mr Li whilst the other one carried his wife on the back and held along the zip line before they walked back to the bankside.
It took the team over four hours to send the couple to safety.
The firefighter struggles to reach the couple as the floodwaters hit him hard in the current
The waters can reach up to two meters deep as they walk further down to the middle of river
Firefighter Li Yunfei showed signs of drowning after he reportedly tripped over in the waters and lost conscious.
He was sent to a hospital for immediate rescue and is now recovering in stable conditions.
‘I can’t stop crying as I saw firefighters coming back and forth in the waters to save me and my husband. The water constantly gushed them down no matter how hard they held onto zip line,’ Zhang Zongfeng, Mr Li’s wife, told the China Fire Brigade.
‘We didn’t notice it (crossing the river) had become so dangerous, the water flow went a lot faster the further we went,’ explained Mr Li.
The couple did not sustain any injuries. They thanked the firefighters for the enduring effort in saving their lives.
Mr Li waited patiently on the tractor as rescuers piggybacked his wife to safety first
Zhang Zongfeng said she couldn’t stop crying seeing the firefighters had not given up on them
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