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Olympic swimmer dived 40 times to save people from a sinking bus. Each plunge took 25 seconds.

Shavarsh Karapetyan's heroic acts did not just stop there. Years later, he put himself in danger again to save lives from fire.

Olympic swimmer dived 40 times to save people from a sinking bus. Each plunge took 25 seconds.
Cover Image Source: YouTube| WorldNews2

Not all heroes wear capes and fly, some swim and save lives. This is the story of Olympic swimmer Shavarsh Karapetyan, who along with his brother Kamo, managed to rescue passengers of a sinking bus. Grantland reported that the athlete was running alongside the Yerevan Lake and he had just completed the distance of 20 kms when he heard a loud crash of a trolleybus, which sank some 25 meters (80 ft) offshore at a depth of 10 meters (33 ft) into the lake. Without caring about his life, Karapetyan immediately made a move and jumped into the waters to save lives. 

Representative Image Source: Pexels| Mali Maeder
Representative Image Source: Pexels| Mali Maeder

Aurora Prize quoted Karapetyan revealing in an interview (now taken down on YouTube) what went on in his mind in the fragment of seconds before diving in to rescue people. “It was scary at first. It was so loud, as if a bomb went off. I almost drowned several times. I could imagine the agony of those 92 people and I knew how they would die,” he exclaimed. Swimming into the depths where 92 passengers were succumbing to the deep waters, Karapetyan kicked open the back window and pulled out 35-40 passengers by himself, one by one, despite zero visibility due to silt. He dived some 40 times and looked around in the dark, trying to rescue people by feeling and finding them. 


 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Shavarsh Karapetyan (@shavarsh_karapetyan_official)


 

Comic Vine reported that each plunge took almost 25 seconds. Out of all the people Karapetyan had heroically pulled out, only 20 survived. However, his kindness and selfless act cost him his career. After being in the polluted cold water for a long period and the wounds he got while rescuing victims, the athlete faced several issues leading to a 45-day hospitalization, pneumonia and sepsis, to name a few, as shared by WorldNews2. With long-term problems, Karapetyan was forced to bid adieu to his career as a professional swimmer but looking back, he is proud that he put humanity before the same. Karapetyan spoke about how he still wanted and wished to do more and regretted that he couldn't.


 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Shavarsh Karapetyan (@shavarsh_karapetyan_official)


 

"I knew that I could only save so many lives, I was afraid to make a mistake. In one of my dives, I accidentally grabbed a seat instead of a passenger. I could have saved a life instead. That seat still haunts me in my nightmares," he said. The athlete may have lost a luminous career but he continued to prevail as a hero and brave representative of humanity. Karapetyan's heroic acts did not stop with the trolleybus accident as he played a major role in helping save people during a fire near Yerevan’s Sports and Concert Arena in 1985.


 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Shavarsh Karapetyan (@shavarsh_karapetyan_official)


 

“Anyone can find himself in a place where somebody needs help, and more than once, too. The main thing is to remember what makes you human,” he said. The athlete today coaches his son Tigran with hopes that he can take forward his dream to a successful end. However, his life experiences and bravery have imparted life lessons too. “Our whole lives, we all owe everything to each other,” he said. He also added, “Kindness is nurtured by love. We have to teach our children to love each other from the very beginning.”



 

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