The Nanfang / Blog


Man in Shenzhen drowns 5 metres away from a lifeguard

Posted: 07/31/2013 7:00 am

The nation’s first Good Samaritan Law will come into effect in Shenzhen tomorrow and boy is it needed.

Although last week had the feel-good story of an old man who was rescued from drowning by a Good Samaritan, this has been counterbalanced by an incident in a Shenzhen swimming pool in which a man drowned while swimming five metres away from a lifeguard and nobody noticed him for 10 minutes.

Yangcheng Evening News reports that Mr. Zheng, 45, was swimming with his 8 year-old son in the pool at Futian Stadium on July 24. At around 8 p.m., he went swimming under water in an area where the pool was about 1.35 m deep and never came up again.

It was 10 minutes before either the lifeguard, who was five metres away, or the other swimmers noticed the drowned man. Security camera footage then shows the lifeguard trying to resuscitate him but he was pronounced dead by paramedics when they arrived.

That evening, the swimming pool offered Zheng’s family 1.1 million yuan in compensation but his cousin, Mr. Zuo, said this was way too low. Zheng’s 13 year-old nephew was also reportedly hit by a member of staff after a dispute related to how the corpse would be removed from the premises.

Expect a bitter legal battle to ensue.

Lifeguards have a stressful and dangerous job. At that particular swimming pool, they have to watch the water for seven hours a day and only get paid 3,000 yuan a month. In other words, they need all the help they can get from members of the public, which is hopefully where Good Samaritans will come in.

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