Chinese man rescued after trying to paddle across river in mechanical digger

Construction worker put excavator on a raft and tried to propel himself across stretch of water in southern China

PUBLISHED : Monday, 06 March, 2017, 12:11pm
UPDATED : Monday, 06 March, 2017, 12:21pm

A construction worker had to be rescued by firefighters in southern China after he tried to paddle across a river in a mechanical digger on a makeshift raft.

The man tried to propel himself across the river in Jiangmen in Guangdong province by working the excavator’s dipper and bucket like a paddle, People’s Daily reported.

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The machine, however, ended up losing balance on the floating raft and tipped over in the middle of the river.

The worker had to climb out of the digger and hang on to the machine, which was at risk of sinking, until firefighters managed to reach him and take him to safety.

Firefighter Wang Xiaolei told Guangdong Television that other excavator drivers should never try a similar stunt.

“To cross the river, it’s better to drive over the bridge,” he said. “Don’t think you are so talented and gutsy that you can canoe across the river to work on the other side of the bank.”

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A video clip of the construction worker trying to paddle on the water was widely circulated on Chinese social media, with many internet users expressing their amusement.

One person joked: “His early strokes are as smooth as it gets. What a master! If he had a bit more training, his excavator might be able to move on the water without causing a single ripple.”