The first time Renato Grbic saved a life was 14 years ago. At the time, he was fishing with his brother, near the Pancevo bridge in Belgrade, capital city of Serbia.
He saw a large object falling from the bridge and naturally assumed that, as it had happened many other times before, someone was throwing something away. As they approached in their boat, they realized it was a person throwing their life away, ABC News
A man had jumped off a bridge in an attempt to commit suicide, that September day. The fisherman started negotiating with the man, telling him life is worth living. According to extreme-photographer.com
, he managed to convince him, gave him blankets and called the ambulance.
Since then, Grbic has been personally responsible for saving the lives of 25 people. In time, he became an expert in telling if the jumpers will survive, by the way they plummet in the waters of the river. He claims to be witnessing suicide attempts from the Pancevo bridge at least twice per year, and he knows he cannot save the ones that land on their stomachs.
He remembers one case in which a 19-year-old jumped out of a car, off the bridge, while being stuck in traffic with her mother, sister and uncle. His speed boat and his kind nature were the only things that kept the girl alive.
After reaching the water she changed her mind, started swimming, and had already made it 400 meters when the exhaustion and cold took over. Renato took her into his boat and gave her dry clothes and warm tea. He has become a hero for the girl's family.
Every year, she celebrates being born again on the day she tried to end it all, and every year she visits Grbic to remind herself what she was about to do.
In 2010, Grbic received an award for Recognition For Heroic Deeds from the City of Belgrade, and has been dubbed “Superman of the Danube” by Serbian media outlets.