Hero Frenchie Who Saved Tot: Anyone Would Do It

'Emotion took over,' says Julien Duret
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 7, 2010 4:13 AM CDT
Hero Frenchie Who Saved Tot: Anyone Would Do It

A hero Frenchman who plunged into the frigid waters of Manhattan's East River to save a drowning toddler said anyone would have done the same. "Emotion took over. I reacted very fast," Julien Duret, 29, told the New York Daily News, who tracked him to Lyon, France, after his adventure-filled New York vacation. The young engineer saw something tumble into the water when Bridget Sheridan fell off a gangway on a tour ship at the South Street Seaport over the weekend. At first he thought it was a doll. "Then I realized it wasn't a doll, it was a baby," he said.

He stripped off his coat, plunged in the 48-degree water and lifted the girl. "The child wasn't moving and wasn't crying," he said. "I thought she was dead." Within seconds, Bridget's dad was in the water next to him. Duret handed off the girl and she began to cry. After the two were rescued, Duret took off in a cab. "I don't really think I'm a hero," Duret said. "Anyone would do the same thing. I was just happy that I was able to help her, and I'm happy the family has been reunited." (More Bridget Sheridan stories.)

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