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VIDEO: Hero Dad Dives in River

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Dad David Anderson risked life and limb to save his toddler -- and it was all caught on tape. Here's his amazing story.

david anderson hero dad

David Anderson and his family were visiting New York City when they got way more than they bargained for on their vacation. The family was touring a historic boat docked at the South Street Seaport when suddenly, Anderson's 2-year-old daughter, Bridget, plunged into the deep water 20 feet below. She had apparently slipped in between a railing at the end of the ship's gangplank.

Witness Eric Stringer saw it all happen. "He jumped in like a scene out of a movie," Stringer, a freelance TV producer, told the New York Daily News. "He was pulling things out of his pockets as he was running down the steps. He didn't hesitate." Witnesses say Anderson threw off his shoes, hopped a fence and -- without hesitation -- dove in. "He jumped in feet-first, like a pin," said Stringer. "He went all the way under, and when he came up, he had her in his arms. She was motionless at first. It was a couple of seconds, and then she started crying."

A tourist visiting from France also jumped into the water to help drag the father and daughter to safety. Onlookers successfully pulled the little girl out of the water. She was sent to the hospital for a quick checkup, and was released a few hours later. Firefighters who responded at the scene said Bridget was "very lucky."

Anderson talked to the Daily News about the terrifying ordeal. "She was looking at me," he said. "I saw her. Her face was an inch or two under water."

As to jumping in after her, he said, "I never even thought about it. It was just instant. I knew what I had to do. I just got in. I know I had to get down there.

"Thank God she's perfectly fine," he said of little Bridget. "You would have thought she was in a bathtub. She came out not a scratch, not a mark, nothing."

Check out the exclusive video of the incident, obtained by the New York Daily News.

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