“Nobody hesitated that day. Nobody waited for someone else to give orders. From the most junior deckhand to the leadership in HQ, the people of NY Waterway sprang into action and saved lives,” said NY Waterway Chairman Armand Pohan.
“Because of our crews’ training and professionalism, they pulled 143 people from the Hudson in minutes. During this difficult time, it’s so important to remember that spirit and our sense of service to each other.”
12 years-ago this coming today, January 15, NY Waterway ferry crews reacted instantly to the crash of US Airways Flight 1549, saving 143 of the 155 passengers and crew on board in the Miracle on the Hudson, the most successful marine rescue in aviation history. The U.S. Coast Guard and the New York City Fire Department also rescued 12 people.
A total of 14 NY Waterway ferries responded to the crash, on the Hudson River at 42nd Street, and seven of those ferries removed almost all of those passengers within minutes. Passengers were taken to NY Waterway ferry terminals at West 39th Street in Manhattan and Port Imperial in Weehawken, where office staff had established triage centers and provided their own coats and other items to people who had been exposed to the 30-degree waters of the Hudson River.
Experts have said that if these ferry crews had not responded as quickly as they did, many people would have died or suffered severe effects of hypothermia.
For example, Capt. Vincent Lombardi had just pulled the ferry Thomas Jefferson away from West 39th Street, the 3:30 p.m. departure, when Flight 1549 drifted in front of him. He was next to the plane in three minutes as deckhands deployed the Jason’s Cradle and pulled 56 people on board.
The Moira Smith rescued 14 people. The crew on the Gov. Thomas Kean saved 24 people. A minute later, the ferry Yogi Berra was there pulling in 22 people, including two babies.
NY Waterway ferry crews are featured in the film “Sully” starring Tom Hanks.
For more information, click on www.nywaterway.com.