I read a small article about a great deed last week and I thought it’s enough to write only about myself. This time I’ll tell about an ordinary person who has accomplished a grand feat, which has been practically forgotten. As the phrase goes: “Not to pass by – is our human duty!” And it’s my duty to recall this true story. I want the beauty of human actions to triumph.
And that’s what happened. 16th September 1976, in Yerevan, a trolley, passing along the causeway, fell into the water. Ninety-two passengers were doomed to inevitable death, being buried alive at the depth of ten metres. But at that time Shavarsh Karapetyan, a multiple world champion in diving, made a training jog along the lake. He dived into the water which was turbid because of dumped urban sewage, broke the rear window by his feet and began to pull out the faint passengers.
When Shavarsh repeatedly appeared on the surface, the passersby at the dam saw that his body was torn by fragments of the broken glass. Subsequently, the experts admit that, no one in the world couldn’t do what, Shavarsh made then. For more than twenty minutes in ice water twenty lives were saved.
This event became widely known only six years later. “What was the worst then?” Answering this question Shavarsh said: “I knew that, despite all my training, I could make only a certain number of dives. There at the bottom the visibility was zero, so I grabbed the man by feel and swam with him to the top. Once I came up and saw that I had a leather seat pillow in my hand. And I realized that the price of my mistake – someone’s life. Not once I saw this pillow in my dreams.” In fact, he pulled out of the trolley more than twenty people, but not all of them were saved.
Such a feat cost him severe bilateral pneumonia, complicated by the general blood poisoning, and severe nervous shock. Doctors with great effort saved his life. And six weeks later he got up from bed, and soon he started training. A few months later Shavarsh set a world record scuba diving for 400 meters – the last world record in his sports career. Later, the disease took its toll and there was no question of the return to the sport: 11-time world record holder, 17-time world champion, 13-time European champion, seven-times champion of USSR, Shavarsh Karapetyan became a disabled person.
P.S. Shavarsh Karapetyan. Who knows his name now?
P.P.S. The courage of this man, prompts to look at ourselves and our life with different eyes.