In a terrifying scene, two people were killed as FDNY, NYPD, and NY Waterway ferries rushed to assist 12 passengers stranded from a capsized boat near Pier 84 in the Hudson River.
At a press conference held near the site of the accident, Mayor Adams and representatives stated that 47-year old Lindelia Vasquez and seven-year Julian Vasquez — both hailing from Colombia and said to be related — were pulled unconscious from the wreckage and were confirmed to have died after being taken to Mt Siniai Hospital and Bellevue Hospital. Two additional passengers were said to be in critical condition and the captain of the boat was in stable condition.
“My heart breaks for all those involved in today’s tragic boating accident. Two lives were lost, including a seven-year-old boy. This is a devastating moment for their families and our city. I am grateful to the first responders who rushed in to help rescue 11 others,” said Mayor Adams.
Emergency crews were called to the scene after a private boat — said to be a recreational vehicle originating from New Jersey — overturned just after 2:45pm today. Officials said the owner of the boat was following behind the vessel on a jet ski when the boat capsized. A preliminary statement from the NYPD noted: “Around 14:46 near 555 12th Avenue, emergency harbor, aviation and scuba units were deployed to rescue a capsized vehicle.” NY Waterway boats the Garden State and the John Stevens also assisted in the recovery. The US Coast Guard told W42ST that the 27-foot board boat was in the process of being re-righted. Officials were still investigating the cause of the capsizing and said that the captain of the boat was properly licensed.
“We had the current, the wind, so you could have wakes approaching from different directions, waves from different directions,” said Inspector Anthony Russo of the Harbor Unit. “It takes some skill to operate in the Hudson River, so it could’ve been a contributing factor.”
“This is a tragic day for New Yorkers. Indeed it may have well been worse, were it not for the incredible efforts by not only our extraordinary first responders, but also the swift response from the NY Waterway ferries,” said NYPD commissioner Keechant L Sewell at the press conference.
“It’s a clear reminder to us as we move through the summer months, water is an enjoyable part of New York but it can be a dangerous place,” said Mayor Adams, who noted how close the capsized boat was to the 2009 Miracle on the Hudson — in which United Airlines 1549 made an emergency landing after experiencing significant mechanical failures (due to birds colliding with the engines) with all 155 passengers and crew on board surviving.
“Years ago, there was a plane crash on the Hudson — the Miracle on the Hudson,” said Mayor Adams. “Today was the miracle of all of the combination of all of our entities who provided rescue for those in the water. Unfortunately, that miracle has been shattered by the loss of two lives.”
While there were interruptions to NY Waterway service, all ferries have resumed their normal schedule.
This is a developing story. We will update as we learn more information.