The crew of MISS FREEDOM, a tour boat operated by Statue City Cruises, rescued a woman who had been thrown from her jet ski into the Hudson River and was being pulled along by the current on the morning of June 21.
Port Captain Matt Gill, of Hornblower/City Experiences, which owns Statue Cruises, said the incident began when the crew of MISS FREEDOM was preparing to depart to Ellis Island from northern ferry landing Dock 1.
“At approximately 10:40 am, prior to the scheduled departure of the tour boat from Liberty State Park, Deckhand John Sullivan alerted Captain Brian Dubreuil that there was a jet skier in distress astern of the vessel,” Gill said.
Michela Lombardo of Westbrook, Maine—a first-time jet skier—had been thrown from her two-person jet ski and was treading water in the Hudson River, south of the Morris Canal.
“Ms. Lombardo was in trouble, and in need of assistance,” Gill said.
“A tethered life ring was tossed to her by our alert vessel crew, and the line was tied to the MISS FREEDOM railing, securing her from getting submerged.”
“First Officer William Lynch, with Deckhands John Sullivan and Jonathan Santiago, readied the rescue ladder and set up a rescue operation platform off the stern of the vessel.”
Captain Dubreuil went down the ladder and got Lombardo safely onto the rescue platform. She was able to climb the ladder and the first officer hoisted her onto MISS FREEDOM.
Once the water rescue was complete, Gill said, Dock Attendant Ryan Guthrie and Ticket Office Manager Ian Delaney were instrumental in getting Lombardo medical attention and arranging wheelchair transport off the dock.
“This group of employees professionally exceeded their safety training and acted heroically, communicating and using the utmost teamwork to rescue Ms. Lombardo from the treacherous Hudson,” Gill said.
The entire crew “demonstrated Hornblower respect values” and will be recognized with Hornblower Challenge Coins, he added.
“While we are not surprised by this group acting in the manner they did, we are extremely proud of their dedication to safety and preparedness,” he said.
Crewmembers at Statue City Cruises belong to the MM&P Atlantic Maritime Group.