Tug responds to NY helicopter mayday, helps rescue pilot

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(NEW YORK) — A tugboat responded to a mayday call from a helicopter Sunday and helped save the pilot after the aircraft crashed into the East River, The New York Times reported. The five passengers aboard were killed.

The tugboat Foxy 3 was returning to Staten Island when the crew reportedly heard the call. They helped rescue the captain and tied off the helicopter to keep it from sinking 50 feet to the bottom of the river.

The helicopter, owned by Liberty Helicopters and flown by FlyNYON, a company that specializes in doors-off helicopter photo tours, had just taken off from New Jersey when it encountered engine failure, the pilot radioed. Once it splashed into the East River, the helicopter flipped over and began sinking.

Law enforcement officials lauded the men aboard the tug for their quick response in reaching the helicopter and lashing it to their vessel. Rescue divers arrived but were unable to cut the passengers out of their harnesses in time.

Click here to read the story.

By Professional Mariner Staff