Two Chinese teenagers have agreed to open their wallets after a failed rescue attempt resulted in the deaths of two of their friends. Wu Bo and Liu Hai, both 18, have agreed to pay 50,000 yuan ($8,150) each for failing to save their friends from drowning in a lake. The boys were not charged with a crime, but China does not have any "Good Samaritan" laws to protect citizens from criminal liability if they try to help someone in danger.
According to reports, Li Qing and Chen Min, both 17, were holding hands and walking along the edge of Lotus Lake when one of the girls fell into the water, dragging the other girls with her.
Wu swam over and grabbed one of the girls' hands but it slipped away from him and she sank down into the water. Liu was in the bathroom but he ran out to help when he heard one of the girls scream. He dove in the lake and looked for the girls with no success.
Saddened by the deaths of their friends and feeling that they were in some way accountable, the boys agreed to the settlement only hours after the terrible incident, Behind The Wall reported.
Cases like this exemplify why many Chinese citizens are reticent to help people during medical emergencies or accidents for fear of making a mistake and then being forced to pay a settlement to the victim or the victim's family.
In a gruesome 2011 incident, a 2-year-old toddler was crushed by a car and then left to die. Following the baby’s death, there were calls for a national "Good Samaritan" law to be passed in China, but not much has happened so far.
Sources: Behind The Wall, Hawkeye Lounge