On our 2pm Adventure Sightseeing Tour we were just off South Street Seaport when we spotted three people in the water near Pier 15. Although we had passengers on board, we felt compelled to assist. When we arrived, two men were in the water trying to keep an unconscious victim afloat. Apparently, he had been handling lines for a large vessel when a line snapped, knocking him into the water.
We threw a life-ring and float-line to the guys struggling to keep the victim’s face above the water, pulled them alongside our boat, and hailed the NYPD boat stationed below the Brooklyn Bridge. Other bystanders threw life-rings and lifejackets in the water to place beneath the victim.
The NYPD Scuba Unit arrived within moments and immediately deployed rescue swimmers, who pulled the victim onto New York Media Boat to assess injuries and administer oxygen. EMS and FDNY brought a backboard, stokes basket and stretcher and helped transfer him ashore and into a waiting ambulance. The whole response happened very quickly and was handled adeptly, with the victim ending up at Bellevue Hospital. He’s reported to be in stable condition.
We’re very thankful to our passengers for their patience while we assisted in this emergency, and as always impressed by the NYPD’s response and professionalism. They’re on the scene within minutes, even in the wee hours of the coldest days of the year — like this past New Year’s Eve, when a young guy drove his car into the chilly waters of the Morris Canal, or when a tugboat sank off the Long Island coast.