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USF Freshman Saves Drowning Tourist


USF's Sibo Luo '17 honored as a hero for saving drowning tourist.

Sibo Luo ’17 admits he’s not a very good swimmer, but that didn’t stop the freshman when he heard screams for help, and saw a woman drowning in the frigid San Francisco Bay. He made a split-second decision: risked his life and jumped. 

Mayor calls him 'hero'

“At that time, I didn’t think that much. I just made the decision,” said Luo. 

Now, San Francisco mayor Ed Lee is calling him a hero, and so is Chinese acting Consul General Ruan Song. Both held ceremonies to honor the USF marketing student for saving a tourist’s life.

That tourist, Sho Uging, was taking pictures on Torpedo Wharf near the Golden Gate Bridge on Jan. 18 when she took one step too many, backward, and fell off the pier.

She was face down and unconscious when Luo reached her. He flipped her on her back in the 50-degree water, and two more bystanders jumped in to help. The three kept her afloat until first responders arrived.

In coma for 3 days

Uging was in a coma for three days, but she recovered fully and has returned home safely to her native Taiwan.

"They didn't know each other. Yet, they acted as we would think all San Franciscans would act, which is with a big heart, without thinking about the danger to themselves," Mayor Lee said. 

Luo’s courage not only won him accolades, but also a new friend; he says he and Uging email frequently.

Written by Monica Villavicencio »email usfnews@usfca.edu | Twitter @usfcanews