Hudson River plane crash 911 calls - FOX 35 News Orlando

Hudson River plane crash 911 calls

Posted: Updated:
YONKERS, N.Y. (AP) -

Two people whose single-engine plane crashed into the icy Hudson River were rescued after following a 911 dispatcher's orders to get out of the plane just before it sank.

The pilot, 39-year-old Denise De Priester, of East Windsor, N.J., and 43-year-old passenger Christopher Smidt, of Colonia, N.J., survived 20 minutes in the frigid waters off Yonkers and were in stable condition Monday.

On a recording of the 911 call, Smidt frantically shouts, "We are in the plane. The plane is taking on water."

County police dispatcher Melissa Seymour ascertains that the pair has flotation vests, then says, "I need you to get out of the plane and let me know when you're out. ... I need you to get out of the plane so you're not trapped."

Smidt then calls to De Priester, "Get out! Get out! ... "We're going down!"

Once he escapes, he yells, "The water's freezing!" He tells Seymour he can't make it to shore.

She assured them a boat was en route, and then lost contact.

"I lost him," she tells a colleague before the call ends.

But three off-duty Yonkers police officers, a retired colleague — and the 12-year-old son of one of them — happened to be at a boat club on the river and commandeered a boat.

They plucked the freezing Smidt and De Priester from the river about 20 minutes after the Piper Cherokee had gone to the bottom late Sunday afternoon. The two were taken to Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, where a spokesman said Monday they were in stable condition.

They had been on a sightseeing trip on their own plane out of Robbinsville, N.J., police said.

County Executive Robert Astorino said Monday that Seymour was "skilled and calm."

"This story has a happy ending due to the compassion and professionalism of all involved," Astorino said.

The National Transportation Safety Board is to investigate the cause of the crash.

Most aircraft that ditch in the Hudson are small planes like the Cherokee or helicopters. But in 2009, Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger safely landed US Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson River in New York after striking a flock of geese. All 155 people aboard survived.

  • New York State NewsNew York State NewsMore>>

  • Zoo feeds roadkill to animals

    Zoo feeds roadkill to animals

    Thursday, August 21 2014 9:07 AM EDT2014-08-21 13:07:23 GMT
    Roadkill is part of the menu when it's feeding time at a zoo in western New York. The Seneca Park Zoo has been feeding deer carcasses to its carnivores for years. The practice began after a zoo employee hit a deer on the way to work. The zoo gets the deer after they've been hit by vehicles on Rochester-area roadways. But it won't accept deer that have been dead for more than 10 hours. The zoo also accepts deer killed by bow hunters.
    Roadkill is part of the menu when it's feeding time at a zoo in western New York. The Seneca Park Zoo has been feeding deer carcasses to its carnivores for years. The practice began after a zoo employee hit a deer on the way to work. The zoo gets the deer after they've been hit by vehicles on Rochester-area roadways. But it won't accept deer that have been dead for more than 10 hours. The zoo also accepts deer killed by bow hunters.

  • Marijuana supplier named Pot Playboy gets 27 years

    Marijuana supplier named Pot Playboy gets 27 years

    Thursday, August 21 2014 6:27 AM EDT2014-08-21 10:27:58 GMT
    Prosecutors in New York say a Canadian drug kingpin who was one of New York's biggest marijuana suppliers has been sentenced to 27 years in prison for leading a $1 billion international drug trafficking...
    Prosecutors say a Canadian drug kingpin who was one of New York's biggest marijuana suppliers and was dubbed the Pot Playboy has been sentenced to 27 years in prison for leading a $1 billion international drug trafficking enterprise. Jimmy Cournoyer had ties to organized crime and drug cartels. Authorities say proceeds financed a lifestyle that included a supermodel girlfriend and a super-expensive car, the Bugatti Veyron.
  • Five Guys offers bacon milkshakes

    Five Guys offers bacon milkshakes

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 6:47 PM EDT2014-08-20 22:47:08 GMT
    Burger chain Five Guys is testing the adage that everything tastes better with bacon. It is rolling out a customizable milkshake program and along with bananas, peanut butter, Oreo cookies, salted caramel, you can chose bacon.  Yes that's right: a bacon milkshake.
    Burger chain Five Guys is testing the adage that everything tastes better with bacon. It is rolling out a customizable milkshake program and along with bananas, peanut butter, Oreo cookies, salted caramel, you can chose bacon.  Yes that's right: a bacon milkshake.
Powered by WorldNow

35 Skyline Drive
Lake Mary, FL 32746

Phone: (407) 644-3535
News Tips: (866) 55-FOX35

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices