Former Vail ski patroller rescues his 2-year-old daughter in NYC's East River

Talk about my father the hero: A former Vail ski patroller jumped into the East River to rescue his 2-year-old daughter after she fell off a gangplank at a ship museum at Manhattan's South Street Seaport. Californian David Anderson quickly emptied his pockets, ditched his shoes, and dove into the murky water after his young daughter Bridgette.

One of the shocked onlookers snapped photos, which he later sold to the New York Daily News.

"I thought I was going in the water. I ran over there pulling my phone out of my pocket, pulling everything out of my pocket," said Eric Stringer of Long Island. "The father was just so fast."

An unidentified Frenchman also aided in the rescue, but disappeared into a cab before he could be identified.

Anderson was a ski patroller at Vail about a decade ago, and it didn't take long for New York's tabloids to track down his fellow patrollers, some of whom still live in Vail.

"I'm shocked but not surprised. ... He would do that in a heartbeat," said Steve Clark. "Dave would not do anything else."

Well, I should hope not. Anything less than hyper-efficient rescue would've reflected badly on the Vail Resorts, and Anderson knows better than to cross the Empire.

As for little Bridgette, she's recovering at a hospital, where a policeman remarked she's "in good shape considering." Having lived in New York, I don't think you can take a dip in the East River without getting at least a rash, but it could've been a lot worse.

In addition to a lifetime's worth of Awesome points, Anderson can use this incident as leverage throughout the rest of his daughter's life:

"You want a pony? I saved your life--that's your pony."
"You want a car? I saved your life--that's your car."
"You want a boyfriend? Will a boyfriend jump into the East River for you? Didn't think so."

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Ted Alvarez