“The father and the boy had been standing looking at the sea from Risøyhamn Bridge when the boy let go of his father’s hand, stepped out into the road and was hit by a car,” police investigator Tom Johannessen told the NTB news agency.
“The force of the collision led to the boy being thrown over the guard rail and out into the sea.”
Johannessen said the police had not yet ascertained where exactly on the bridge the boy had been hit.
“The father, who had a boat nearby, first notified the police before taking his own boat, heading out to the boy and bringing him ashore.”
The boy retained consciousness and was back on dry land by the time the emergency services arrived, Johannessen said.
The four-year-old was taken by air ambulance to the university hospital in Tromsø.
“We don’t yet know anything about his condition,” said Johannessen.
Police have been in contact with witnesses, who said they did not believe the car had been travelling too fast at the time of the accident.
Norway's iconic Hurtigruten passenger ships regularly pass under the Risøyhamn Bridge, which is located in the picturesque Vesterålen archipelago in north-western Norway.