Thursday, 8 April 2010

A real life hero.

And I'm not denigrating our armed forces in any way. Every man jack of them are heroes in my eyes.

This is the story of an ordinary man doing without thinking, an heroic act.

This is the dramatic moment a two-year-old girl was plucked from an icy river after being rescued by her father and a total stranger.

Two-year-old Bridget Sheridan had fallen 20ft into New York's East River after slipping off a gangplank at the South Street Seaport museum.

French tourist Julien Duret immediately jumped into the water to rescue the little girl before she sank beneath the water and handed her to her father David Anderson, who had dived in after him.

Bridget Sheridan

Heroic: French tourist Julien Duret, right, hands Bridget Sheridan to her father David Anderson after they both dived into New York's East River to save her

Mr Anderson, who was visiting from California, spoke of his relief after his child was brought back to safety and opened her eyes after appearing to be 'lifeless' in the water.

He said: 'She was laying on her back, looking up at me, terror in her eyes. The fact she was crying I knew she was fine.'

Meanwhile Mr Duret simply walked off after his selfless act of heroism and was eventually traced by the New York Daily News.

Mr Duret, 29, from Lyon, said he didn't think twice before diving into the chilly waters
on Saturday.

'The emotion took over,' Duret told the Daily News. 'I didn't think at all. It happened very fast. I reacted very fast... I've never done anything like that before.'

Shocked: Mr Duret was amazed to find he was the hero of New York 
after he dived into a river to save a drowning toddler

Shocked: Mr Duret was amazed to find he was the hero of New York after he dived into a river to save a drowning toddler

Duret, an engineer on vacation, was walking with his girlfriend on the pier when he spotted something falling into the water.

He approached the water and looked down. He thought it was a doll; then realised it was a child. He stripped his coat and jumped into the water.

When he reached Bridget, she appeared lifeless, he said. He scooped her up and gave her to her father. David Anderson then lifted his daughter out of the water and she opened her eyes.

Anderson said his daughter slipped through guardrails when he stopped watching her so he could adjust his camera. He spirited her into an ambulance, said Duret, who was handed dry clothes from onlookers. Duret caught a cab shortly after.

It was the final day of Mr Duret's first trip to the city. He said he didn't realise his tale of heroism had captivated New York until he was leaving the next morning.

'I don't really think I'm a hero,' he said. 'Anyone would do the same thing.'

He would never make a PCSO.


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