More Stories from “The Miracle on the Hudson”

WSJ has the accounts of some passengers from Flight 1549 who held onto a life raft that was trying to escape the scene, and we now have video of the landing. If I’m getting this right, the vid that AllahP posted is from the New Jersey side of the river; the plane comes into frame about about the two-minute mark from the left-hand side. This vid is the most dramatic in showing the speed with which the passengers managed their orderly exit, with amazing assistance from the crew. It also highlights the alacrity of the rescuers, and how delicately the boats manage to creep up to the airplane without appearing to wash any of the people who are perched on those slick wings into the water. The pace of the rescue is mind-blowing; my understanding is that many members of the Hudson maritime community—famous for their work on the “American Dunkirk,” evacuating a million people from lower Manhattan after 9/11—hold rescue drills every few weeks.

It shows.

I’ve also been told that the flight attendant are Donna Dent, Doreen Welsh, and Sheila Dail. Meanwhile, I’ve joined the Facebook fan groups for both the Northern Californian pilot, Chesley B. Sullenberger III, and the Wisconsonian co-pilot, Jeffrey Skiles. (Sullenberger, it’s worth noting, is originally from Texas.)

And the folks at Arthur’s Landing restaurant converted their dining room into a triage center, for those survivors who ended up on the New Jersey side of the river, which I love; in some sense this Miracle on the Hudson, for me, bookends the tale of a very bad century that began when the Titanic foundered, and I remember that the dining rooms in the rescue ship, the Carpathia, were converted into triage centers as well. In 1913, as on last Thursday at the restaurant, coffee was brewed to warm the survivors up from the inside, though proportionately there were few a century ago; how lovely to see a 100% survival rate. One of the refugees from the Titanic, a little boy, did not want coffee; he requested hot chocolate instead and received it. Likewise, at Arthur’s Landing the other day one of the survivors from Flight 1549 requested a Scotch instead of food (not a little boy; a big boy). The chef told his staff, “whatever they want, we’re making it.” The restaurant staff, of course, did not have blankets on hand—so they handed out tablecloths instead. And chef’s slacks and coats! Clever.

Arthur’s Landing never opened to the general public on Thursday at all; they couldn’t switch gears.

Here are a series of videos from the Manhattan side, and they show the water landing quite well.

Thursday was a good day. Thursday was a great day.

(Cross-posted at Little Miss Attila.)

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