A few weeks ago, Vyacheslav Karpjuk, a father of three from Omsk in Russia, was cycling along the River Irtysch with his wife and their children. Since his five and seven-year-old daughters were tired, they headed back to the car. While the father was busy stowing the bicycles, his wife was looking after their youngest child. Meanwhile, the two girls were briefly unsupervised and went to look at the river.
ГЕРОИЧЕСКИЙ ПОСТУПОКОМСК, 1 июня. /Корр. ТАСС Алексей Петров/. Шестнадцатилетний подросток спас в Омске мужчину с двумя…
All at once, Vyacheslav heard something hit the surface of the water. Both his daughters had leaned over a railing and fallen into the cold river. They were trying desperately to stay above the water. Their father immediately jumped in after them while his wife called for help.
In the ice-cold water, the girls grew more and more panicky. They grabbed onto their father and unintentionally pulled him under. Meanwhile, dozens of passersby had become aware of the situation. Some threw ropes to them, others just filmed them. But it was impossible for Vyacheslav to keep both children calm and tie them to the ropes; his strength was failing.
Suddenly, he heard a loud splash nearby. Someone had jumped into the river and was helping him get his daughters up the ropes. When Vyacheslav saw his helper, he was shocked: the brave rescuer was a teenager. Sasha Yergin was the only one who had dared to jump into the water. A short time later, they were all back on land and unhurt.
Vyacheslav later told journalists at the scene that, without Sasha’s help, he would not have managed it and would probably have drowned, together with his daughters. In the aftermath, the authorities announced they were honoring the young rescuer for his heroic act. A short time later, however, a local newspaper carried an article on Sasha’s shocking past.
Sasha’s life up to this point had not been easy: his alcoholic mother had lost custody of him and his father had no interest in him. Since then, he had been living with his grandmother. In the youth center, everyone described him as «intelligent, but also rather difficult.» He was also known to the police and had a reputation as a hooligan.
If you’d like to know more about Sasha’s story and his heroic actions, you can watch this video (in Russian):
Meanwhile, many people have expressed sympathy for the teenager and would like to help him improve his prospects. The youth center has already received several calls with offers of help. Maybe one day, Sasha will not only have saved the lives of a father and his two daughters, but his own as well. We can only wish him lots of luck!