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Man Dies After Jumping Into Hudson River to Rescue Child

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    Relatives Mourn Father who Jumped Into Hudson River to Rescue 6-Year-Old Boy

    A 40-year-old father of two drowned after he jumped into the Hudson River to help rescue a 6-year-old boy who fell in the water during a cookout in Yonkers Sunday, officials say. Checkey Beckford has more from his family. (Published Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014)

    A 40-year-old father of two drowned after he jumped into the Hudson River to help rescue a 6-year-old boy who fell in the water during a cookout in Yonkers Sunday, officials say.

    Police say the man, identified as Boyce Coleman, and several other people at a party at the JFK Marina leaped into the river after they saw the child struggling in the water shortly before 7 p.m. 

    The child was safely pulled from the water and was conscious when he was taken to a local hospital, police say.

    Coleman never resurfaced. The Yonkers Police Department and NYPD's Harbor unit recovered his body at around 8 p.m.

    Coleman's father Lewis Jordan tells NBC 4 New York his son didn't know the 6-year-old boy he was trying to help, but that he wasn't surprised he jumped into the water after the child. 

    "He's the best," said Jordan. "He's that type of guy, you know." 

    Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano called Coleman a hero.

    "There are a lot of heroes here tonight," Spano said Sunday night. "Unfortunately one of those heroes became a victim."

    Coleman's kindness was well-known among his neighbors. One woman, Deisy Seeman, recalled talking to the business owner about a friend who was unemployed. 

    "He was like, 'All right, bring him, I'll employ him,' without even seeing the guy," said Seeman. "It was amazing. He was a great guy." 

    "It's just shocking how life can turn," she said. 

    -Checkey Beckford contributed to this report. Follow Checkey Beckford on Twitter @Checkey4NY.