NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The passing boat that rescued a helicopter pilot Wednesday afternoon was a New York waterway ferry.
When its crew saw the crash, they sprang into action.
CBS2’s Valerie Castro caught up with those heroes. The heroes were humble and said rescuing someone in distress is simply part of their job description.
On Wednesday, it happened at the end of their shift, during their last trip across the Hudson River.
“There’s no thought process, we see it and we just go in to action,” Capt. Adam Sciaino said.
The ferry captain and deckhand Edwin Montoya say they switched gears from passenger transport to emergency mode when that helicopter crash landed into the river.
“I see the helicopter coming out of the side of my eye and I look over at it and you see it kind of hover for a second and then it just spun and went in to the water,” the captain said.
They immediately headed straight for the wreckage.
SEE IT: Video Of Helicopter Into Hudson
The pilot had already climbed out and was standing on the chopper’s floatation devices. Once the crew reached him, they helped him aboard.
“He was pretty shaky, but he was in good condition, like relaxed, the guy was okay,” Montoya said.
His only request – to be brought to dry land.
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Captain Sciaino said the rescue took less than five minutes. After that, it was back to business as usual.
“We were on our way to go home and I think the whole incident took like maybe three minutes. After we got him on the boat and he gave me a thumbs up and we put him on the pier and we proceeded to drop off our passengers,” Sciaino explained.
“This is part of our duties, we’re supposed to do, any distress on the water we’re supposed to help,” Montoya added.
New York Waterway Ferry crews have rescued nearly 300 people over the last 32 years. Almost half of those rescues were during the “Miracle on the Hudson.”