The Korea Herald


Police officer jumps barefoot into drainage tunnel to save man

By Yoon Min-sik

Published : May 10, 2024 - 15:06

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(Herald DB) (Herald DB)

The National Police Agency on Thursday posted a video of a South Korean police officer who plowed through the cold waters inside the drain system to save a drunken man who fell and injured himself.

According to the NPA, emergency rescue services in Nam-gu, Ulsan, received reports that a man was lying inside a drainage tunnel at around 9 p.m., May 4. Police officers and emergency workers were dispatched to the scene and found a man in his 50s, who while walking intoxicated lost his footing and fell into the semi-exposed drainage tunnel.

The man was immobilized by the injuries he sustained from the fall and experienced hypothermia from being exposed to cold water for over 30 minutes.

The man's location was five meters below the surface and was only accessible through an entry point some 300 meters away. The police officer took off her shoes and walked through the cold water to rescue the man, sustaining bruises on her feet.

The officer gave her gloves to the man who said he was freezing and comforted him before helping him to safety.

The man received medical care and is currently recovering from his injuries, according to officials.

South Korea's 112 police emergency service annually receives nearly 1 million calls related to intoxication. According to the NPA, there were 976,000 such calls made in 2022, and 945,000 from January to November of 2023.