A South Korean judo athlete is being hailed as a hero for rescuing a 78-year-old vacationer from certain death at a local beach last week.
Daring rescue: Yang Seo-woo, 27, was visiting her mother in Taean County on Aug. 5 when she witnessed a man
, 78, being swept away by powerful waves following a sudden tidal current at Mallipo Beach. The man’s family called 119 emergency services, but before rescuers could arrive, Yang sprang into action to help reach the struggling vacationer faster.
A selfless act: The rescuer’s identity initially remained a mystery as she left the scene without revealing her name. However, the rescued man’s family sought to find and thank their savior, who they learned was a judo athlete. The daughter of the rescued man expressed her heartfelt gratitude for Yang’s heroic intervention.
“I am truly grateful to you for rescuing my father by jumping into the sea without hesitation in an emergency,” she was quoted as saying. “I will always support the athlete’s future.”
Inspiring hero: Downplaying her courageous act, Yang stated: “I am familiar with the sea, and I felt that it would become harder to rescue as time passed because the tide was coming in, so I jumped in. I just did what anyone else would have done, but I’m thankful for the love I’ve been receiving.”
Yang previously gained widespread admiration during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics when she shaved her head to meet the weigh-in requirements for the women’s -48 Kg category. She later made a guest appearance on television series “Today’s Webtoon” alongside former I.O.I. member Kim Sejeong.