Man leaps into Amsterdam canal to save tourists from sinking minibus

Moment passerby leaps into an Amsterdam canal to save tourists from a sinking minibus after driver’s parking attempt goes disastrously wrong

  • Nine people had to swim for their lives when the van plunged into the canal 
  • It happened in the Prinsengracht canal in the Dutch capital on Saturday, April 2 
  • Footage shows a man leap into the water to free people stuck inside the van 
  • The incident is reported to have taken place when the driver tried to park up 
  • Everyone escaped from the van and two people were treated for minor injuries

This is the moment a heroic passerby jumped into an Amsterdam canal to rescue tourists from a sinking van.

The vehicle, which was carrying nine people, plunged into Prinsengracht canal in the Dutch capital on Saturday, April 2. 

The van entered the water when the driver’s attempt at parking went disastrously wrong, according to local media reports. 

Dramatic footage filmed from a nearby building shows the passerby leaping in to help.

The heroic man dived into a canal in Amsterdam on Saturday, April 2, to rescue people stuck in a van which had fallen into the water

Nine people were inside the vehicle when it plunged into the Prinsengracht canal shortly after midday

In the video, captured by Jasper Bergen who lives nearby, the van can be seen floating in the water. 

A man jumps into the canal and forces a front door open, while people climb out of the windows on the other side of the van. 

The vehicle starts to tip forwards under the water, causing the occupants to shriek and dive clear. 

One of them stands on the roof as the entire van sinks, while a riverboat and people on the side of the canal come over to help people out of the cold water. 

The incident took place shortly after midday on Saturday in the tourist area, with police confirming all nine people safely made it out. 

The name of the heroic man has not been released, with local reports identifying him as a 29-year-old Amsterdammer. 

Speaking to AT5, Mr Berden said he had come back from lunch when the incident took place. 

‘Suddenly I heard a loud splash with screams,’ he said.

‘I look out the window and see the van in the water with all the people jumping into the water and coming to the rescue.’ 

Dramatic video shows the man forcing one of the doors to the vehicle open, helping people escape

Everyone scrambles clear as the van suddenly tips forward and sinks towards the bottom of the canal

 A fire service spokesperson said the incident probably happened while the driver was trying to park next to the canal, De Telegraaf reported.  

They added that divers had entered the water following the rescue and found no one else inside. 

Two tourists had to go to hospital – one for treatment on a cut and one for an injured wrist. 

The remaining seven were taken to a nearby cafe to warm up after entering the very cold water. 

The minibus was later recovered from the water by the fire service.

A nearby boat also came to help, picking up those who were unable to get out of the very cold water

It’s not the first time people have had to be rescued from the city’s picturesque canals because of motoring mishaps.

Four Britons had to be saved by locals in August 2020 after driving their car into the canal.

At  least eight locals dived into the water to help them.

In 2016 four heroic passersby dived into one of the city’s canals to rescue a mother and her toddler after she accidentally drove into the water while parking.  

The woman, who had been desperately trying to free her young child as the car  entered the water, was rescued by men who ended up breaking a window.  

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