Sat, May 06, 2017 - Page 4 News List

Thirsty S Korean seeks help with message in bottle

By Huang Liang-chieh and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Police on Thursday last week rescued an elderly man from hunger and thirst after he sought help by tossing a note in a bottle from the window of his 10th-floor apartment in Kaohsiung’s Yancheng District (鹽埕).

The octogenarian, a South Korean surnamed Kim, lives alone in his 6 ping (19.8m2) apartment and cannot move due to previous injuries in his legs, police said.

Kim endured a day without food or water before tossing a bottle out of the window with a note that read: “Help: water, water, water,” along with a NT$1,000 bill and his address, police said.

A passerby, surnamed Lin (林), found the note and took it to a police station, they said.

Police officers Huang Cheng-hsiung (黃正雄) and Wei Chih-chuan (魏志全) determined that the plea for help was genuine after seeing the money in the bottle and went to Kim’s apartment, where they found him on a bed and in a weak state of health, police said.

The officers gave Kim hot food and water, and called social workers, they said.

Kim is not impoverished and has savings in a bank account, but cannot move without a walker, police said.

They said one of Kim’s neighbors used to buy food for him, but stopped doing so after an argument.

The neighbor told police that Kim had refused to pay for the meals.

Without food, Kim became too weak to take care of himself and used the message in the bottle to seek help — an idea that he said came from a movie — because he did not want to talk to the building’s superintendent, police said.

Kim told police that he worked as a sailor before retiring and moving to Taiwan, and that he is single and has no relatives in the nation.

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