updated 01/05/2012 AT 1:00 PM ET
•originally published 01/05/2012 AT 5:00 PM ET
Spider-Man himself couldn’t have done a better job.
America’s Best Dance Crew judge JC Chasez proved himself a hero on New Year’s Day on a Miami beach when he saved the life of a 1-year-old girl after a helicopter flying too close to the ground sent an umbrella flying across the sand.
Those in the line of fire included little Shirel, her mother, Netali Nissim, and their family.
“Shirel is safe because of him,” Nissim, an Italian jeweler, told PEOPLE through her rep. “I want to tell him thank you from the bottom of my heart. If it had not been for him, my daughter could have been seriously hurt.”
According to the New York Post, which first reported the incident, the former ‘N Sync star, 35, and his girlfriend Nicole were on the beach adjacent to the Fontainebleau when the chopper started kicking up the winds. Acting quickly, Chasez was able to grasp the umbrella before it struck the child.
Sources say that the singer was “sweet and humble” about his good deed.