A good Samaritan came forward to recount jumping into the Assawoman Bay to save a 2-year-old thrown into the water after a five-car wreck.
Jonathan Bauer spoke publicly about the experience for the first time Friday after initially asking to remain anonymous following the rescue.
Bauer and his 13-year-old daughter Ava were involved in the crash Sunday on the Route 90 bridge in Ocean City.
After seeing his own daughter was ok, he noticed a truck dangling from the bridge. A car seat had been ejected and a little girl was floating in the water below.
“She was on her back. Completely floating, head out of the water. Arms moving, legs kicking, in a little pink dress,” Bauer said.
Bauer looked at his own daughter for a moment. When he glanced back at the little girl, she had flipped, he said.
“Her face was in the water,” he recalled at the press conference, before pausing to take a sip of water.
“I looked at my daughter and said, ‘grab the first firefighter or police officer you see,’ and then I pushed off,” he said.
He plunged 25 feet into the cold water below and swam to the girl.
“Her mouth was open, her eyes were semi-open, and then I put her against my shoulder, very high, and then aggressively patted her on the back. And within seconds, she spit up a bunch of water, a lot of water,” Bauer said.
The girl started coughing and took a deep breath, Bauer said.
Seconds later, a pontoon boat showed up. Alayna Oertel, 14, and her father Joe Oertel pulled the girl and Bauer on board and brought them to shore.
"Right person, right place and right time," Bauer said.
The girl was flown to a hospital in Baltimore and is expected to make a full recovery, NBC Washington reported.
Bauer was presented with a plaque by the Mayor of Ocean City to honor his heroism.
Mayor Richard W. Meehan called Bauer a "humble hero" and said that Bauer wanted to hold the event to thank firefighters and first responders who helped in the rescue efforts, NBC News reported.