Humble Hero Leaps Off Bridge Into Bay to Save Baby Girl from Drowning

Humble Hero Leaps Off Bridge Into Bay to Save Baby Girl from Drowning

June 8, 2021 by Cathy Stack

Ocean City, Md.- A dramatic scene unfolded when a serious vehicle collision occurred on an Ocean City, Maryland, bridge. Jonathan Bauer, a driver on the bridge, witnessed the multivehicle crash from his own vehicle. He immediately got out of his car to see how he could help. To his shock, he saw that the crash’s strong impact had left the pickup truck ahead teetering on the bridge’s guardrail. His stomach dropped when he realized the impact also caused a toddler’s car seat with the child in it to be ejected, right into the Assawoman Bay below.

Without hesitation, Jonathan heroically jumped off the bridge into the shallow waters more than 30 feet below to rescue the helpless toddler. 

Jonathan recalled that the unforgettable day started out as a typical Sunday.  He had been running errands with his teenage daughter, Ava.  It was a sunny day, so he had his car windows down.

“The first thing I remember is hearing the tires screech,” Jonathan recalled. Then he saw the truck in front of him lose control, hit a cement barrier, and flip onto the guardrail. The accident also involved several cars, one of which struck Jonathan’s own vehicle. Amid the noise and glass shattered everywhere, Jonathan immediately checked on his daughter to see if she was OK. Ava was shaken but uninjured. 

Jonathan then got out of the car to see if he could help the other drivers involved in the crash. He heard yelling coming from the truck that dangled dangerously off the bridge railing. When he ran to the truck, he saw the panicked driver pointing below, in the direction of the open waters.  Jonathan looked down and, to his shock, saw a car seat in the bay, with a baby girl in a pink dress just a few feet away. The infant was floating on her back, arms moving and legs kicking.  He looked away to instruct his daughter where to alert first responders.  Seconds later, he looked below again. The child had flipped onto her stomach, face down in the water. 

Jonathan knew there was no time to waste.  Without hesitation, he removed his shoes and leaped off the bridge in a desperate attempt to save the baby.  Ava waited and watched, terrified that her father would not survive the harrowing rescue. 

“It was probably the scariest moment of my life, seeing my dad jump off the bridge,” Ava recalled.

Jonathan swam to the baby just as she was sinking beneath the water.

“Her mouth was open; her eyes were semi-open. I put her against my shoulder very high and aggressively patted her on the back. And within seconds, she spit up a lot of water and then started coughing and took a deep breath,” he recounted.

Moments later, another family—in a pontoon boat piloted by their own teenage daughter— sped to help.  They pulled Jonathan and the baby out of the water and ushered them safely to shore, where they met waiting emergency responders.  The toddler was airlifted to the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center hospital.  After the event, the hero quietly slipped away, preferring to remain anonymous. 

The 2 -year-old girl has since been released from the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery, thanks to her hero.  All seven other victims involved in the crash were taken to the hospital for evaluation and also released.

The community and Ocean City Fire Department wanted to show their appreciation to the humble hero.  They tracked Jonathan down and invited him and his family to a press conference.  During the event, the Ocean City mayor awarded Jonathan a plaque honoring his heroism.  Jonathan modestly said he was just in the right place at the right time. 

“I can’t say how proud I am of him,” said his wife, Wendi.

PassItOn and Foundation For A Better Life believe Jonathan Bauer is a true hero.  His action is a great example of bravery.  Despite his fear of heights, he courageously put his own life at risk to save an infant's life hanging in the balance. A tragic event was averted by his immediate, lifesaving,action, which revealed the best in humanity.  Please help us celebrate this humble hero by sharing his inspiring story.

Watch video here:

Sign Up to our PassItOn blog to be inspired:

Please tell us about your everyday Hero. The Heroes among us are ordinary people whose actions leave a lasting and positive impact in their communities and demonstrate the potential in all of us. Their heroic acts uphold our shared values. Help honor these individuals by creating a billboard and sharing their story at:

SHARE this heartwarming story with your friends and family to uplift their day.  

If you find these posts inspirational, consider favoriting PassItOn on Facebook so you never miss out on our weekly posts. is Excited to Announce the ✌ #PEACEPASSITON Giveaway to Help Spread the Value of PEACE.  Everyone is Better Off when we Live our Values, and PassItOn to Others.  Receive two FREE PEACE STICKERS when you participate.  


  • Share a Peace photo on social media with the hashtag #PeacePassiton  (your photo may be added to our PassItOn PEACE campaign board on our website). Post a photo of you or a group sharing the PEACE hand sign, or holding sign up a sign that says PEACE or submit a drawing of an image of what PEACE represents to you.  
  • Visit to enter your mailing address to receive 2 free Peace Stickers, one for yourself and one to PassItOn. 

*First five thousand (5,000) individuals to sign up at on or before 11:59 p.m. MDT on June 15, 2022 will receive two (2) free Peace Stickers. Must be 18+ and a resident of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia to participate. Limit two (2) stickers per individual. Stickers will be shipped to the U.S. mailing address provided.  (Posting a photo and following on Instagram/Facebook not required to sign up for stickers.) *


Pass It On®


Your Comments
Lynise L Tarring from Hilo, Hawai'i  MAY 20, 2022
Thank you' Jonathan for listening to your heart. Your sincerity is radiant with the hope we all could have since we're all in this life together. God Bless and let's rejoice.

Mare McAnany & Family from Philadelphia PA JUNE 13, 2021
It is a blessing to know of such courageous, caring people among us, especially in these difficult times. My hope is that Jonathan Bauer, his daughter Ava & wife Wendi will form a lifelong bond with this sweet baby girl's family. And also with the family in their pontoon boat, who came to his aid, after he dove into the waters of the bay & rescued the baby. We are grateful to know that heroes do indeed live among us, including the members of the Ocean City Fire & Police Departments. The courage shown by all of you is an inspiration.

Mariana Miller-D'Alessandro from Bronx, New York JUNE 9, 2021
Amazing story of a hero and his supportive family - he not seeking to be known and hoo- rayed -- but the community wanting to acknowledge and thank him!

Here are some other inspiring posts you might like.