In late 2016 Muzammil Patel was out on his bike in the state of Victoria, south eastern Australia. When Patel cycled by the Barham River, however, he saw something struggling in its waters. And when he realized that that something was an animal, Patel decided to rescue him before he sank to his death.
But Patel wasn’t in the coastal town of Apollo Bay to become a lifeguard for the area’s wildlife. That was just a sideshow from the main event: acting as a volunteer for a cycling tour. He was doing this during a working vacation from his undergraduate course at Melbourne’s Swinburne University of Technology.
Specifically, that cycling tour was the Great Victorian Bike Ride. This annual event covers some 340 miles in nine days and attracts thousands of entrants during the Australian summer. Participants of the tour cycle between camp sites, taking different routes each year. And, in particular, it was while Patel was at the Apollo Bay camp site when he heeded the call of nature in distress.