09/04/2010 05:05 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Hero Tourist Rescues Baby From The River

A Frenchman has been hailed a hero after jumping into the East River in New York to save a baby girl.

The mysterious tourist then vanished after the incident last Saturday until he was tracked down by the media.

He has now been revealed as Julien Duret, 29, from Lyon.

His heroism captured the imagination of New Yorkers after he jumped into the freezing river to save the little girl Bridget.

After being tracked down back at his home in Lyon, Duret told the Daily News: "The emotion took over. I didn't think at all. It happened very fast. I reacted very fast....I've never done anything like that before."

Bridget's father David Anderson has hailed the Frenchman for being the first one in the water to help save his daughter.

Duret was apparently on holiday in New York and was walking along a pier with his girlfriend when he saw something falling from a ship.

He didn't realise it was a little girl and at first thought it was a doll. Duret told the Daily News: "Then I realised it wasn't a doll, it was a baby."

You can see images of the dramatic rescue here.

Duret threw off his coat and leaped into the water while his girlfriend screamed for help.

When he reached the two-year-old girl, he thought he was too late. Duret told the Daily News: "The child wasn't moving and wasn't crying. I thought she was dead."

He scooped her up and gave her to her father who by this point had also jumped into the water from the ship.

Anderson then lifted Bridget out of the water and miraculously she opened her eyes.

Duret was mobbed by well-wishers when he got out of the river but quickly got into a cab. He didn't realise that the incident had been splashed all over the papers until he was leaving the city the next morning to head home.

However Duret told the Daily News he did not think he had done anything special. "I don't really think I'm a hero," he said. "Anyone would do the same thing...

"I was just happy that I was able to help her, and I am just happy that the family has been reunited."

Source: Daily News