Two people were killed and several others suffered injuries after a rented boat capsized in the Hudson River, officials said. Two others are in critical condition and a third person is in critical but stable condition, according to New York City Fire Department interim Commissioner Laura Kavanagh.
The two people killed were not immediately identified but were described as a 50-year-old female and a 7-year-old male.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams said “our hearts go out to a group of people who were just using the water in our city. … This is a devastating moment for them and those who are part of the families that were there.”
The incident took place around 2:46 p.m. when the FDNY and New York City Police Department responded to a call of people drowning. Two people were taken out of the water by FDNY and NYPD personnel. One person was taken to Roosevelt Hospital in critical condition and another was taken to Lenox Hill Hospital in critical condition, FDNY said.
One of the people in critical condition is the captain of the boat, NYPD officials said at a Tuesday press conference.
Eight others suffered minor injuries, Kavanagh said.
New York Waterways, a private company that operates ferries between New York City and New Jersey, assisted in the rescue, according to a statement from the company.
“Two NY Waterway ferries, the Garden State and the John Stevens, arrived on the scene and their crews rescued 9 passengers from the private boat,” the company said.
A Coast Guard official toldthat it was not immediately clear what caused the boat to capsize, but said there was a small craft advisory, meaning waves were elevated, at the time of the incident. The U.S. Coast Guard also responded to the incident.
The boat launched from Weehawken, New Jersey, directly across the river from midtown Manhattan, CBS New York reports.
NYPD Assistant Chief James McCarthy said Tuesday that the boat had been chartered by a family and some friends and that the owner had been following along on a jet ski. McCarthy said the investigation is still in the early stages and it is unclear if the boat had been overloaded or what other conditions may have led to it capsizing.
As of Tuesday evening, the boat had been towed further downtown, where officials were working to turn it upright.