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Passengers rescued after canoe capsizes in Hudson

June 5, 2012 8:36:44 PM PDT
They were pulling "The Bird" out of the Hudson River on Tuesday night, her shattered hull taking on water and threatening to sink.

Earlier Tuesday evening, seven people hugged and had blankets thrown over them for warmth, after they were plucked from the Hudson by fire department rescuers.

The boat, called a "Whitehall Gig", had crashed into a pier while battling a choppy surf and nasty tide. The boat capsized.

Pete Alfano was at work, looking out the window.

"We saw it capsize, called 911" he said.

It was scary for everyone. The boat is one of a fleet of boats that is operated by the Village Community Boathouse, a nonprofit rowing club licensed by the Parks Department. Rob Buchanan is one of the managers of that group.

"We've never had an accident with people in the water," he said.

Everyone on board was wearing a life vest, and that probably saved lives in the rough water that cracked a hole in the hull of the boat that Buchanan helped build.

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