Raging river sweeps child to waterfall; Teen saves his life

April 14, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
The teenager who saved a little a boy from going over a 317 foot waterfall in Yosemite speaks about the incident where many are calling him a hero.

Alec Smith said, "All of a sudden you hear this mom screaming, like bloody murder, 'oh my god! Save my baby, save my baby!' After I hopped the fence, I could hear my parents screaming, like, 'no, no, please, no, don't do it, no!'"

Smith, 16, and his family had just hiked to the top of Yosemite's Vernal Fall when a 9-year-old boy fell into the Merced River.

Smith jumped over the railing, held onto a rock, and snagged the boy as he was going by in the swift rapids. Smith's dad came to help them both back to safety.

"When I reached him he reached me," Smith said. "He looked up at me, like with the craziest look in his eyes, like, 'just please help me.'"

Melissa Smith, Alec's mother said, "So then I look and I have not only my son but my husband out there as well, so that was, you know, just terrifying."

In the only photo, the 9-year-old is telling Alec "thank you," just after having his life saved.