A honeymoon couple from Brighouse became Baywatch heroes as they saved a man from drowning in the Maldives.
Newlyweds James and Samantha Leather were sunbathing on the beach of their secluded Maldivian island in the Indian Ocean when they spotted Chinese man Cabell Wu get into difficulty in the deep blue waters.
“The man was shouting for help and we could see he was going under. It was awful,” said Samantha. “Luckily, James has done a life-saving course. He didn’t hesitate – within seconds he had dived into the sea and was swimming out to try and rescue him. I knew he was the man’s only hope.”
Samantha watched anxiously as James swam out towards him.
“James got to him just in time, and when he grabbed him he was going under again. A minute later and it would have been a very different story. I was so relieved and proud as I watched from the beach. James had saved a man’s life and he wasn’t even wearing his red Baywatch shorts at the time.”
Mr Wu, who was also on his honeymoon and had travelled from Hainan Island in China, had ingested a large amount of water and later required hospital treatment as he recovered from his ordeal.
“Other than that he was fine, and we all arranged to meet up the following evening to celebrate. Over drinks, Cabell explained to us that he would like to give us a monetary gift by way of thanks in accordance with Chinese tradition. Neither James nor I wanted to accept money so we compromised and it was agreed that the payment would be a donation to a charity of our choice,” said Samantha.
The couple decided to donate the money to Yorkshire Cat Rescue where they had adopted their deaf tomcat Arthur.
“We missed Arthur while we were away and as soon as Cabell agreed the donation could be a charitable one, we knew where it should go – Yorkshire Cat Rescue,” said Samantha. “Without them, goodness knows what would have happened to Arthur or where he would be now.
“Cabell was very interested when we told him about their work and said he would look them up on the internet when he got back home – it’s amazing to think Yorkshire Cat Rescue is now known in China as well.”
The two couples plan to keep in touch, and Samantha said they now feel they share a special bond due to the traumatic experience they shared.
Referring to the £110 donation, Samantha said, “We hope it will make a difference and support the amazing work Yorkshire Cat Rescue do in treating, caring for and ultimately finding loving homes for unwanted cats and kittens.”