Cyclist seeks 'hero' bike rider who jumped into river to save him

Good Samaritan pedalled off without leaving name after rescuing man from River Lea in east London

A London cyclist has been hailed a hero after he jumped into a river in east London to rescue another bike rider who had fallen into the water.

Now, the man he helped rescue has asked the man, who rode off without leaving his name, to come forward so he can thank him in person, reports the Jewish Chronicle.

The newspaper says that 28-year-old Eli Heilpern, from Stamford Hill, fell into the River Lea in Hackney after he lost control of his bike on a bumpy section of the towpath while riding with friends.

Mr Heilpern, who sustained minor injuries in the incident, said: "It all happened so quickly. It was heart-warming to know what he did.

“My friends were a bit lost at the time and this guy just jumped in. It was very kind indeed. I want to thank him for what he did.”

One of his friends, Shulem Stern, described what happened. "We were all cycling in single file.

“Suddenly I just heard a scream and saw my friend's head bobbing in the water. He was shouting in panic. He can swim but he panicked after injuring himself in the fall.

“He got himself to the side but he did not have the energy to pull himself up. We were trying to pull him up but he is quite a big lad and we were struggling.

“Then this cyclist came and threw himself into the water to help push him up.

"I was really impressed by what he did. He just did it for a complete stranger. He did not need to jump in.

“He went the extra step to go into the water and help someone he did not know. It was a really special thing. It was really appreciated.

"Eli would like to know who the man was to be able to thank him properly," he concluded.

Mr Heilpern added: "I think the moral of the story is that London is a great place with great people. Some railings on the river wouldn't do any harm either."

It’s not the first time we’ve reported on a Good Samaritan cyclist who has stopped to jump into water to save someone.

In 2011, we reported how a York cyclist – later identified as David Atkinson – had jumped into the River Ouse to save an infant whose pram had rolled into the river.

The following year, a female cyclist dived into Swansea Marina to save a woman who had fallen into the water.

Like Mr Atkinson and the man who helped Mr Heilpern, she pedalled away after performing her good deed without leaving her name.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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