This is the dramatic moment a pedestrian risked his own life to save an elderly woman after she fell into a frozen river in northern China.
Shi Lei, 54, used his bare hands to break the icy surface of the river as he tried to drag Ms Zhai, 73, out of the bone-chilling water.
After pulling Ms Zhai out of the river, Mr Shi and other good samaritans helped her change into dry clothes before escorting her home, according to Chinese media.
Brave: Shi Lei, from Baoding, China, went to save the woman without a second thought. He saw her struggling in the middle of a frozen river while cycling to work on December 26
The incident occurred at around 8am on December 26 in Baoding, Hebei Province, reported Xinhua News Agency. The temperature was about minus five degrees Celsius.
Mr Shi told Xinhua that he was riding his bike to work at the time and saw a woman struggling in the middle of a frozen river, which was about six metres (20 feet) wide.
The man got off his bike and crawled along the icy surface towards the woman, hoping to pull her out.
Mr Shi explained that the ice near the middle of the river was thin, so he couldn’t use all his might. In addition, the woman became very heavy after her clothes were soaked with water.
As a result, Mr Shi decided to smash the ice with his bare hands so he could drag the drowning pensioner to the edge of the river.
Quick-thinking: The 54-year-old carefully knelt on the river while trying to drag out the woman. But he failed to do so after a few attempts, so he decided to use his hands to smash the ice
A video, released by China Global Television Network, shows Mr Shi was joined by another passerby, Ma Hongjie, when he was breaking the ice.
At one point, a large area of ice cracked and the two rescuers both fell into the river, which is about one metre deep (three feet). But they quickly found their footing.
Eventually, Mr Shi who stood in freezing water pushed Ms Zhai towards the surface while Mr Ma pulled her towards a safe area.
Team effort: Mr Shi was later joined by another passerby, Ma Hongjie. The two rescuers both fell into the water at one point, but managed to move the pensioner to safety after a while
More good samaritans later joined Mr Zhai and Mr Ma. Together, they helped Ms Zhai to change into dry clothes. Ms Zhai’s family were informed of the matter.
Ms Zhai was taken back home by her family members and Mr Shi.
After saving Ms Zhai, Mr Shi went back home to drink a bowl of ginger soup and take a hot shower. He then went to work as normal.
Speaking to Xinhua News Agency, the modest man said: ‘Every one at the scene was a hero. I’m proud to see so many good citizens living in Baoding.’