Westchester County officials today praised the actions of all those who assisted the two people aboard the small plane that crashed in the Hudson River on Sunday evening, including a Westchester County police dispatcher who received their desperate 911 call for help.
“From the Yonkers police officers who went out on the river to a skilled and calm county police dispatcher on the phone, many people stepped up to do a great job to help keep those people alive and get them rescued from the frigid waters of the Hudson River,” said County Executive Robert P. Astorino Astorino. “This story has a happy ending due to the compassion and professionalism of all involved.”
Westchester Public Safety Commissioner George N. Longworth praised the excellent coordination among county police, Yonkers police and other responding agencies, including the Yonkers Fire Department and the New York police and fire departments.
In addition, he praised county police Communications Operator Melissa Seymour for the sound and life-saving advice she gave to the pilot of the plane. As the river water was flooding into the cockpit, Seymour advised the pilot and his passenger to locate the floatation devices aboard the plane and get out the aircraft.
The pilot made a 911 call about 5:25 p.m. Sunday to report that his Piper Cherokee had crashed into the Hudson River. The call was received at the New York State Transportation Management Center and a dispatcher there transferred the call to the county police.
“Sir, are you still in the plane,” Seymour asked the caller.
“We are still in the plane. The plane is taking on water,” the caller responds.
“Is it possible for you to get out?”
“We can get out if we have to.”
“I need you to get out,” Seymour advised him. “Get out of the plane.”
The pair entered the water and the plane sank soon after. Yonkers police rescued them from the river.