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Man saved after floating 5.6 km in river's tidal bore

(Global Times)

09:54, September 20, 2012

On Monday afternoon, a man climbed over the guardrail along the Qiantang River and jumped in ahead of the massive wave that rushes through the river each autumn. He traveled a distance of 5.6 kilometers on what is the world's largest tidal bore.

He was saved by the local waterborne police.

On the riverbank near Sanbao lock, crowds of people were gathered to watch the famous annual tidal bore of East China's Qiantang River.

After jumping in, the 41-year-old man surnamed Chen swam 50 meters to the center of the river, ignoring the calls from nearby guards to turn back. The guards called the police.

A simple note reading "Cancer sufferer seeks death for relief" was found in the bag he left on the riverbank.

However, Chen did not drown, and was instead pushed west along the river by the strong current, traveling about 5.6 kilometers in 30 minutes before he landed on a rocky bank near Hangzhou Intermediate People's Court, where he was rescued.

Chen was sent to the hospital after he was saved, where he was met by his older brother.

Chen told reporters he is from Hengyang, Hunan Province, and has suffered from cancer for years. He felt that his illness had alienated him from his brother, friends and neighbors.

He had already attempted suicide twice, once by slitting his wrists, and another failed attempt in the Qiantang River.

He said the experience has changed him and he no longer wants to commit suicide.

"It turns out that there are some people who care about me. Today I almost died. I think I should never give up my life," said Chen.

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