rescue hudson
Emergency workers at the scene of a Hudson River rescue Wednesday night. From a video by witness Gretchen Connelie.

Two men had to be rescued from the Hudson River on Wednesday night after an apparent bout of night-swimming gone bad.

Fire officials and witnesses told NBC that the men appeared to be drunk.

“The men wound up in the river — it’s not exactly known how — near 79th Street on the Upper West Side. Witnesses said they’d been drinking and went into the water on their own volition.

Someone at the Boat Basin restaurant called 911 and said it appeared the two men were drowning in the river.”

An armada of firefighters and helicopters came to rescue them; after being plucked out of the water, the two men were taken to Mt. Sinai St. Luke’s with minor injuries.

Gretchen Connelie captured the scene below.

So apparently two guys decided it was a nice night for a swim in the Hudson. @NYPD and @fdny did not agree with that plan and helped them out of the water. Not training for @nyctriathlon either. #Swim #HudsonRiver #NYC #News #UpperWestSide

A video posted by gconnelie⚓ (@gconnelie) on

NEWS | 21 comments | permalink
    1. ST says:

      Darwin awards. Thanks fir wasting valuable city resources bozos.

    2. anon says:

      the should fine these idiots the full cost of their rescue.

    3. Sherman says:

      These two boneheads should be forced to reimburse NYC for the cost of rescuing them.

    4. UWS-er says:


    5. Mike says:

      I can’t imagine being drunk enough to think that swimming in the Hudson, day or night, would be a good idea.

    6. Cato says:

      Clearly this is attributable to the continuation of rent control and stabilization on the Upper West Side.

    7. John says:

      I heard they rode citi bikes to the river from their rent stabilized home 🙂

    8. WestSideGuy says:

      The signs in Riverside Park were clearly posted and well illuminated for a new bike lane to the left of Captain Sullenberger’s landing strip. 😉

    9. Hambone says:

      You are all sheep. We are are rare city that is surrounded by water that n one can access. Chicago, Phila, name it, are not that way. Put a kayak in the water and the yahoo police are on you. Should they have gone in? Clearly not. Still NYC has hydrophobia

      • sg says:

        How about these two fools getting a bill for wasting the time of first responders. Why should my tax dollars go for their drunken stupidity which led them to swim when they should not be doing so? Other states do this and it works. Few drunk midwesterners head out on the frozen ponds when they know that if first responders have to come and rescue them, it will cost them.

      • Catherine says:

        Fyi there are free kayaks during the summer available in the mid-60’s for folks to enjoy. I often see jet skis as well so people are definitely getting “doen” into the water, just not this way! They should be made to pay for their shenanigan stupidity.

      • Trish says:

        I kayak on the Hudson frequently and nobody bothers me.

    10. Lucien says:

      Were they trying to swim to Jersey? I wonder what their logic was.

    11. Ann says:

      I am a senior. My mother grew up on the lower Eastside and used to swim in the Hudson river when it was clean enough to do so. So did all the kids growing up in that area. Look what we’ve done

      • dannyboy says:

        My father-in-law told stories of swimming in the East River. Swimming is good fun and good exercise.

      • Independent says:

        I’ve seen some great vintage photos of boys diving and swimming in the water surrounding Manhattan, in brazen defiance of signs that said no swimming or diving.

        You’d have to go a lot farther back than that, though, for a time when the water was still pristine. Raw sewage used to be dumped into the water, accounting for many people sickened by eating the oysters that used to thrive in these waters.

    12. JHG says:

      Our tax dollars hard at work!