Flight 1549: Mariners to the Rescue

Minutes after a disabled plane ditched into the Hudson River, New York Waterway commuter ferryboats moved in close to take survivors. Soon the waters around the bobbing jetliner carried what the New York Times called “an ad hoc flotilla of boats and ferries, flying the flags of most every city, state and federal agency that works the waters around New York City.” Rescuers included crews of the Circle Line tour boats, Army Engineers boats, and a Staten Island ferry support vessel, as well as the boats from New York Waterway.

The officers and crews of the boats rescued all 155 people on board the US airways jet. The action was reminiscent of the quick and effective response by “all available boats” on September 11, 2001, when commercial and government boats safely evacuated at least 500,000 people safely from Lower Manhattan.