Ye Weifa (1st L) and Huang Runbo (1st R) have a picture taken with the tourists they save at the Qiaogang Beach in Beihai City, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region on August 17, 2020.
By Liao Wenzhi and Su Yongjun
BEIHAI, Sept. 29 -- In Beihai, a port city in south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, ex-serviceman Ye Weifa and his friend Huang Runbo, who successfully rescued six tourists from drowning in stormy sea in August, have become heroes in the city with their story widely told among the local people.
On August 17, seven tourists were swept into the deep sea area by large waves near the Qiaogang Beach in Beihai city. Ye Weifa, a veteran ever serving in the PLA Navy, and his friend Huang Runbo just finished paddleboard training in nearby area. Realizing the dangerous omen, the two made an emergency rescue plan immediately: Ye rushed to rescue with their paddleboard, Huang swam towards the shore to ask for help before joining Ye in the rescue.
The sea waves were nearly three meters high that day. While fighting against fierce waves, Ye and Huang saved three children and three adults one after another onto the paddleboard. However the weight of the six together was far beyond the bearing capacity of the paddleboard and the rising tide made the situation even more critical.
Ye and Huang, who had just finished training, strived to protect the paddleboard in a state of extreme fatigue. After a few minutes, they finally rendezvoused with a motorboat which came to offer a help hand after hearing the news. With their joint efforts, the six tourists were sent to the shore safely. After that, despite the fatigue, Ye and Huang continued to go back into the water to participate in the search for the last of the seven drowning tourists.
Unfortunately, the body of the last tourist was found in the sea one kilometer away with no sign of life the next morning.
Ye was recruited by the PLA Navy in December 2006 and demobilized in December 2014. He had rescued drowning tourists many times before joining in the Beihai Maritime Search and Rescue Volunteer Association in May 2020. "As an ex-soldier of the PLA Navy, I’m always ready to help whenever there is danger. To cherish the ocean and guard life is my instinctive quality," Ye said.