The consul general, who takes part in triathlons, turned the student over, lifted her face clear of the water and swam backwards to the steep sided riverbank.
"She was unconscious, she was not breathing and for a short time we feared the worst. But as we got back to the side, she started breathing again" he told the BBC of the rescue, which took place on Saturday morning.
The diplomat held onto a lifebuoy attached to a rope that had been thrown towards him by passers-by, who then pulled the woman to safety. Mr. Ellison swam round to shallower rocks and climbed out. He was given dry clothes and warm drinks by grateful villagers.