Two people were rescued Sunday when their single-engine plane crashed and sank into the icy Hudson River off Yonkers, authorities said.
The small plane was carrying two passengers on a sightseeing trip, and crashed about 5:20 p.m., Yonkers Police Lt. Phil Collins said. The two were wearing life vests and were able to get out of the plane before it sank, Collins said.
According to the 911 recording released Monday, the passenger shouts into his cellphone: “The plane is filling up!”
The dispatcher tells him they have to get out to avoid being trapped.
The man then calls to the pilot, “Get out! Get out! … We’re going down!”
Once he escapes, he yells, “The water’s freezing!”
The pair were plucked from the waters within 30 minutes of the crash and taken to Jacobi Medical Center. They were treated for hypothermia and were listed in stable condition at Jacobi, Lt. Toni Scherer of Empress Ambulance Service said. The names of the two were not immediately released.
Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen described the plane as a Piper PA-32. Bergen said the pilot told local authorities the flight left from the Trenton-Robbinsville Airport in Robbinsville, N.J. It was flying under visual flight rules and not receiving air traffic control services, she said.
The Journal News reported that Yonkers police officers and a retired detective took a boat out to rescue the two.
“Thank G-d we got there quick enough,” said Daniel Higgins Sr., an off-duty police officer who piloted the boat and whose 12-year-old son was aboard and helped in the rescue effort.
“It’s what we do for a living, and I’m just glad we were in the right place at the right time,” Higgins told the News.
The plane was registered to Dominick Lipariti, of Manalapan, N.J., according to FAA records. A man who answered the telephone at Lipariti’s home told The Associated Press that it was his son’s plane and that it had been sold to someone else. He declined to identify the buyer.