NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The NYPD had to rescue several kayakers on the Hudson River late Tuesday afternoon after they were struck by a ferry.
The NYPD said ten kayakers were struck by a water taxi at 39th Street at Pier 79 as the Jersey City ferry was leaving the terminal around 5:45 p.m. The group of paddlers who were part of the Manhattan Kayak Company tour were heading southbound on the Hudson.READ MORE: New Jersey Officials Monitoring Omicron Variant, But Say Delta Is Still A Concern As Travel Picks Up
CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported the group of kayakers collided with a New York Waterways ferry heading to Jersey City.
One man was seen comforting his sister, visiting from St. Louis, after both were rescued from the river.
“Everyone’s OK now. Everyone’s all good; everyone’s safe; everyone’s going to the hospital I hope,” he said.
When asked how it started, he said, “It was so quick, I could hardly tell you to be honest.”
The boat pilot told police sun glare as he backed out of the pier prevented him from seeing the kayakers.
Five kayakers were transported to Bellevue Hospital Center and Mount Sinai West Hospital. Four people received minor injuries, while one was seriously hurt.
Inspector David Driscoll said one of the victims, an employee of the kayak company, suffered a very serious arm injury.
“His bone was exposed. He had lost a lot of blood and was lapsing in and out of consciousness,” Driscoll said during a news conference.READ MORE: NYC 'Strongly Recommends' Masks In Public Indoor Spaces, As Omicron Variant Reaches North America
Fortunately, one of the NYPD Harbor Unit rescuers, Tommy Le, is also an EMT.
“He was lying on top of the kayak and it was this a pool of blood,” Le said. “And we knew that we had to go over there and assist him as a priority.”
Driscoll said that it’s the responsibility of both the ferry and the kayakers to stay out of each other’s way.
“I think both people have a responsibility to stay out of the way of each other. Anytime there is a perceived collision, both parties are responsible to stay out of each other’s way,” he said.
People on other kayaks were picked up by NYPD boats and the New York Waterways also helped out with the rescue operation.
First responders did their best with what was a somewhat chaotic scene as they tried to determine how many kayakers ended up in the water and searching to make sure no one was missed.
All the kayakers were wearing life jackets as required by the Manhattan Kayak Company.
Avi and Juliet from Staten Island signed up for the sunset kayak trip, but had second thoughts.
“That’s what we’re here to do to have fun, but can’t have fun if you have to worry about being hit by a boat,” Avi said.
New York Waterways said in a statement, “We are cooperating fully with the Coast Guard and NYPD with this investigation.”MORE NEWS: Harlem's Josephine Baker About To Be Given France's Highest Honor, A Resting Place In The Pantheon
The cause of the collision is under investigation.