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Certificates of Appreciation Go to Rescuers

Friday, January 16, 2009

At City Hall, Mayor Bloomberg presented certificates of appreciation to those who came to the aid of the 155 people on board the plane that made an emergency landing on the Hudson River. Among them: NYPD diver Detective Robert Rodriguez, who helped rescue a woman who was in the frigid water, clinging to the side of a boat.

RODRIQUEZ: We saw the distress in her face, we deployed from the helicopter, swam to her immediately, and we pulled her off the side of that boat, and helped get her into another boat.

REPORTER: A New York waterway ferry was the first vessel to reach the plane. Its captain, Vince Lombardi, was asked what went through his mind when he saw the plane in the water.

LOMBARDI: I was a little overwhelmed; a little scared for the people. You know the water is about 32 degrees. The outside air temp was in the 20s. I was worried if we didn’t get them out right away there would have been casualties.

REPORTER: Mayor Bloomberg says he's going to present keys to the city to the pilot and crew, when investigators allow them to speak publicly about the accident.

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