A photo of a rescuer wearing a lifejacket and cap, looking exhausted after ten hours’ work saving people from floods in Zhejiang, has gone viral on Sina Weibo.
She is Xu Yaping, world canoeing champion.
Typhoon Lekima landed in Zhejiang on Saturday, bringing destruction and trapping residents in their homes.
Xu – now an aquatic sports teacher at Zhejiang University and living in capital city, Hangzhou – was paying close attention.
On Saturday night, the Linhai city public security bureau said on social media that it wished to borrow steamboats from the public for rescue work.
Seeing the call for help, Xu contacted professional rescuers, formed a five-person team and headed for Linhai.
“Although some people are very enthusiastic, it is very dangerous for them to join in water rescue works without professional knowledge. It is the skilled person who should be at the forefront,” said Xu.
Xu is not only a canoeing world champion, but also an international rescue boat instructor and Asia’s first female International Rescue Instructors Association R4 instructor.
After arriving at scene of the flood, Xu and her team sailed their boat to people in need.
After more than ten hours fighting both flood and fatigue, Xu and her team helped more than 30 people to safe places before completing their mission Tuesday afternoon.
Netizens have since praised her efforts, but Xu said she hadn’t planned on going viral.
“I’ve simply applied what I’ve learned and did what I should’ve done, just like any other rescuer, so please don’t pay so much attention to me,” said Xu.