"I suddenly felt really scared and my body started shaking. I could have so easily died"
Filming at sea, the 65-year-old actor was trapped under a rock and was unable to free himself.
Chan forced himself to remain calm and not panic as the film’s crew responded quickly and pulled the Hong Kong star to safety.
Vanguard director Stanley Tong told a Beijing press conference promoting the film that he feared the worst.
When Tong saw Chan emerge from the water, he said he “just could not control [his] tears”.
For Chan, the severity of the incident only hit him later that night in the shower.
“I suddenly felt really scared and my body started shaking. I could have so easily died,” he recalled.
Vanguard follows a squad of security guards who rescue hostages taken by an international mercenary organization.
“It represents our innovation efforts to turn Chinese stories into an action blockbuster across the world,” Tong said.
The film is set for theatrical release on the Chinese mainland on 25 Jan 2020.
Earlier this year, Chan was revealed to be the fifth highest paid actor of 2019.