This is Hideaki Akaiwa. When the Tsunami hit his home town of Ishinomaki, Hideaki was at work. Realising his wife was trapped in their home, he ignored the advice of professionals, who told him to wait for the army to arrive to provide search and rescue.
Instead he found some scuba gear, jumped in the raging torrent – dodging cars, houses and other debris being dragged around by the powerful current, any of which could have killed him instantly – and navigated the now submerged streets in pitch dark, freezing water until he found his house. Swimming inside, he discovered his wife alive on the upper level with only a small amount of breathing room, and sharing his respirator, pulled her out to safety.
If he had waited for the army, his wife of 20 years would be dead.
Oh, and if that’s not enough badassery for one lifetime, Hideaki realised his mother was also unaccounted for, so jumped back in the water and managed to save her life also. Since then Hideaki enters the water everyday on a one man search and rescue mission, saving countless lives and proving that two natural disasters in a single day, and insurmountable odds can’t stand in the way of love. This man is my hero.
“How the fuck Hideaki Akaiwa got a hold of a wetsuit and a set of SCUBA gear is one of the great mysteries of the world. I’m roughly twenty hours into Fallout 3 and I’m lucky to come across a fucking vacuum cleaner in that godforsaken post-apocalyptic wasteland, yet this guy is in the middle of a real-life earth-shaking mecha-disaster and he’s coming up with oxygen tanks, waterproof suits, and rebreather systems seemingly out of thin air. I guess when you’re a truly unstoppable badass, you, by definition, don’t let anything stand in your way. You make shit happen, all the time, no matter what.”