Enrico Rentsch, Forrest Joseph Hoffman, and Maggie Leigh Zargo were recently honored for saving four people from drowning on two successive attempts. This marks the first time any westerners have been granted certificates for acts of bravery since they began being issued by the city of Zhuhai in 2003.
German native Rentsch and American citizen Hoffman work with Weiguo Solutions in the Zhuhai Free Trade Zone, while Zargo teaches at Yung Wing School Zhuhai in Nanping.
According to sources: The three athletic young professionals were on Shilanzhou Island's Wangyangjiao Beach on Aug 12, 2017 when they heard cries for help at around 4 pm. A Chinese couple was struggling in the turbulent water. The three Westerners promptly ran in and dragged the man and woman back to shore when others wouldn't dare enter the churning sea and shifting sands.
Enrico Rentsch's representative, Forrest Joseph Hoffman, and Maggie Leigh Zargo flanked by police officers [Photo provided to cityofzhuhai.com]
No sooner had they returned to the beach when they again responded to shouts about a couple of men who were seen floundering in the sea. Their timely rescue gave the unconscious of the two just enough time to be resuscitated by medics. Bystanders applauded them for their heroic deeds afterwards.
The Zhuhai government later decided to honor the trio to encourage further courageousness and to recognize the heroes. The award was granted in accordance with Article 2 of the People's Volunteer Award & Protection Ordinance. Though there are no rules in regards to nationality, the award previously was presented only to local Chinese residents.
Currently, around 2,000 foreigners reside in Zhuhai, while around 800,000 foreigners traveled through the city in 2017, according to the Exit-Entry Administration Office of the Zhuhai Public Security Bureau.