Large group of gigantic men makes big difference in crisis.

Japan’s been seeing some very encouraging drops in its suicide rates recently, but that doesn’t mean that the country has completely solved the complex issues that convince people to take their own lives. Early on Wednesday morning, a woman in her 30s was walking near the Kenagakawa River in Tokyo’s Adachi Ward. Stepping out onto a pedestrian bridge that spans the river, she climbed over the chest-high railing and threw herself into the water below in an apparent suicide attempt.

The time was just after 5:30 in the morning, and the bridge isn’t located in a particularly busy part of the neighborhood. Luckily, though, a 70-something local resident say the woman fall into the water. “Don’t die!” he shouted while whipping out his phone to call the paramedics, but it turned out that help was even closer by.

The closest building to the bride just so happens to be a dormitory/training facility for sumo wrestlers. Specifically, it’s the Sakaigawa Stable, and with sumo wrestlers generally following an early-to-rise regimen, there were large men present and ready to spring into action. In total, approximately 20 wrestlers rushed to save the woman, who appeared to be drowning, and they were able to pull her out of the water and onto the safety of dry land.

▼ Back entrance to the Sakaigawa Stable, which opens onto the river

The sumo wrestlers’ work wasn’t done yet, though. When the ambulance arrived, the paramedics brought a stretcher down to the bank of the river and placed the woman on it, but there was a two-meter (6.6-foot) barricade between the bank and street level. Luckily, there was no shortage of muscular strength on-site, and a number of the sumo wrestlers combined their might to lift the stretcher up onto the road, after which it was loaded into the ambulance and the woman taken to the hospital.

Doctors later reported that the woman suffered no serious injuries, and the local police precinct is considering a certificate of commendation for the wrestlers as well as the man who first noticed the woman jumping. There’s no mention of whether or not the award will be accompanied by a celebratory banquet, perhaps because of the expense such a meal would require, but regardless of how the wrestler’s careers in the ring turn out, they’ve all proven themselves champions of outstanding kindness and quick-thinking.

If you or someone you know is in Japan and having suicidal thoughts, there are people here to help. Click here for more info.

Sources: Abema Times via Yahoo! Japan News, Mainichi Shimbun
Top image: Free Sozai
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