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Mystery rescuer saves Charedi man who fell into river Lea

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A mystery cyclist has been heralded a hero after he saved a Charedi man from drowning.

The man dived into the river Lea, in Hackney, east London, to rescue Eli Heilpern who had fallen off his bike into the water.

Mr Heilpern, 28, a property management consultant from Stamford Hill, was cycling with friends when he lost control on a bumpy section of the narrow riverside path.

As Mr Heilpern’s friends watched helplessly, the unknown hero dived into the water and hauled Mr Heilpern to safety.

He then left the scene without leaving his name or details. Mr Heilpern escaped with only minor injuries.

Mr Heilpern 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.

A friend, Shulem Stern, said the group had not been able to help Mr Heilpern out of the water.

He said: "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."

He said: "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."

Reflecting on the incident, Mr Heilpern said: "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."

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