13 years-ago this coming January 15, NY Waterway ferry crews reacted instantly to the crash of US Airways Flight 1549, saving 143 of the 155 passengers and crew pulled from the water 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 rescued 12 other passengers and crew.
When then New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg asked NY Waterway Vice President of Ferry Operations Alan Warren what his crews were thinking when they saw the plane in the water, Warren answered: “We don’t think. We just react
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. .
Captain 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. More ferries quickly came on scene to in all rescue 143 people.
NY Waterway ferry crews are featured in the film
“Sully” starring Tom Hanks.
Since the dramatic 2009 rescue, NY Waterway ferries
and their crews have stood ready and able to assist in