Two Dead As Boat Capsizes on Hudson River
A 24-foot boat carrying 12 passengers capsized in the Hudson River, north of Pier 79 in Midtown Manhattan, around 2:45 p.m on Tuesday, July 12th.
The tragic accident resulted in the deaths of Julian Vasquez, 7, and Lindelia Vasquez, 47, who were trapped underneath the boat. Members of the FDNY and NYPD responded to the scene of the accident, ensuring that more lives were not lost.
According to the FDNY, several of the passengers of the boat suffered minor injuries while two were transferred to the hospital and are reported to be in critical condition.
According to reports, the New York Waterway ferry crew was the first to arrive at the scene. They managed to pull eight victims of the accident out of the water.
Jason Peters, who is a captain of the Waterway, along with his fellow crew members Hector Rabanes and Steven Black, pulled people into their rescue boat and threw life jackets into the water.
“That’s when training kicks in. You just, you know, you do what you’re trained to do. We do monthly drills for this specific situation,” Peters said. “Just in case somebody falls into the water and we have to get them out, that’s exactly what we do. We just saw them, they needed help, we got them on board.”
Amazingly, Peters, Rabanes, and Black were also present at the site of the US Airways Flight 1549, which crash-landed in the Hudson River in 2009. They mentioned how, for a moment, they felt as though history was repeating itself. Rabanes said, “For me, it was like, wow is this happening again?”
The arrival of the FDNY and NYPD scuba diving teams was of great help as it allowed more people to be pulled from the water.
More Insight on the Capsized Boat…
“Indeed, it may have well been worse if not for the incredible effort by not only our own extraordinary first responders but also the swift response from the New York Waterway ferries who rescued nine additional people from the water,” NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said.
NYPD officials indicated that the incident would be investigated to determine what caused the accident.
“It takes some skill to operate in the Hudson River, so it could have been a contributing factor, but as the chief said, we need to do our investigation,” the Commanding Officer of the NYPD Harbor Anthony Russo said.
“We need to upright that boat. We need to pull [the] video. We need to look at the sea state. But the Hudson River is always a dangerous place to operate.”
Mayor Eric Adams made an appearance near the site of the accident, paying his respects and sharing a few comforting words.
“The water is an enjoyable part of New York, but it can be a dangerous place for those who jet ski, for those who are using boats, and other activities. We want to remind people to be safe as they do so,” Adams said.
The accident is a tragedy as the passengers on the boat were family members celebrating a reunion by taking a tour of Manhattan. According to reports, Lindelia Vasquez had seven relatives from Colombia and Florida who were visiting her.
Before Vasquez and her family members boarded the boat for their tour of Manhattan, they visited a restaurant, Brisas Bakery and Restaurant, which is owned by a friend of hers, Albert Orozco.
“Lindelia and her sister, Omira, are like family to me. I cried when I heard. Everyone here was crying when we heard the news. Such nice people, hardworking good people. I could not hide it. I just cried,” Orozco said.
The cause of the accident is still under investigation at the time of reporting.