Los Angeles, CA–“‘He went in to save her knowing that he can’t swim, which is what makes what he did fantastic,’ Ms. Nielsen said. ‘If there had been anyone else around, you would have imagined they would have gone in.
“He’s never ever been known to go into the water. He’s pretty switched on, he goes fishing and sailing [but he can’t swim]. That’s what we all find absolutely unreal, it’s hard to take in because it would have been so terrible for him. But he got her out … he saved her life.'”
No surprise here–a father of three died saving his girlfriend’s little granddaughter from drowning. From ‘Man of action’ gave his life to save girl (Sydney Morning Herald, 10/20/08):
A body of a 55-year-old man who jumped into a river to save a young girl has been found in south-western NSW.
Scott Ryan, a weak swimmer, was with a 47-year-old female friend and her seven-year-old granddaughter at Yanco’s Horn Beach on the Murrumbidgee River, near Leeton, about 4.40pm (AEDT) yesterday.
When the girl got into trouble in the water, the father-of-three and the grandmother leapt in after her.
Mr. Ryan managed to pull the girl to the safety of a partly submerged tree, but then experienced difficulties himself before disappearing under the water.
The woman and the girl were both rescued from the river.
The NSW Police Force said Mr Ryan’s body was found about 3pm today.
Andrew Hurst, licensee of Leeton’s Wade Hotel, where Mr. Ryan was a regular, said the town was saddened by news of the affable truck driver’s death.
“He’d come in here a couple of times a week after work.”
“He was a good all round Aussie bloke. I know that’s a cliche,” he told AAP.
Mr. Ryan had three children – Chelsea, aged 11, Lindsay, 15, and Tommy, 19 – with his ex-wife Cindy Tiffen, who works at the Wade Hotel as a cook. Mr. Ryan was single.
Ms. Tiffen had remained friendly with her ex-husband, Mr. Hurst said.
He said he was not surprised Mr. Ryan jumped in the river to save the girl, despite not being a strong swimmer.
“He was your typical Australian knockabout ocker bloke, that was what he felt his duty was,” he said.
“He went in to do that and one come out and one didn’t.”
Read the full article here. Thanks to John, a reader, for sending it.
To read other stories of heroic men and fathers, click here.