'It's a beautiful thing:' South Philadelphia Walmart employee saves man from drowning

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A Walmart employee in South Philadelphia saved a man's life when he fell into the Delaware River early Saturday morning.

Harry Ulmer, an overnight maintenance supervisor at Walmart, said he was taking his break after 2 a.m. when he heard a man scream.

"I was not close, no I wasn't close," explained Ulmer who was in his parking space about 200 yards from the pier.

"He kept hollering, 'Help me, help me,'" said Ulmer. "I said, 'Alright, hold on. I'm on my way.'"

He said the fence to the pier was locked so he hopped it. The man, however, was too far out to grab. Luckily, Ulmer had a rope in his car. He also called 911.

He then broke off two logs and, while holding up a tree, tied the rope to it and tossed it out to the man.

"I kept telling him, 'grab the log, grab the log, and I'll pull you into safety here,'" said Ulmer.

He told the man to keep kicking while holding on. A few minutes later, more help arrived.

"The police officer came to me when it was all done and said, 'You saved that man's life, you know.' I said, 'That's a beautiful thing,'" recalled Ulmer.

Police say the man in his 30s was taking a selfie when he fell into the water. He was treated at the hospital for hypothermia and should be ok.

Two days later, Ulmer is calling this a miracle. He says he took his lunch break later than normal Saturday morning and if he would have clocked out on time, he would not have been around to help the drowning man.

"I usually take my lunch at 2 a.m. and I don't stay there. So, by me running late, that's why I heard him, or I would have never been there," Ulmer said.
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