Quick Response by Pier 25 Sailing Instructor Helps Save Woman in River

Jonathan Horvath, in white hat, gets a handshake from Harbor Patrol officer after delivering the woman he rescued near the Battery Park City and Hudson River Park esplanades. Photo: Carl Glassman/Tribeca Trib

Jul. 15, 2020

The rapid response by crew members of Atlantic Yachting, the company that runs the marina at Tribeca’s Pier 25, helped save the life of a woman in the water Tuesday afternoon.

The 24-year-old woman, who police say is homeless, was struggling in the Hudson River near the esplanade outside Stuyvesant High School when an Atlantic Yachting staffer, Ben Kalish, spotted her and contacted his fellow sailing instructor, Jonathan Horvath, who jumped into a dingy docked at the pier and boated to the woman. Horvath, 40, said bystanders had lowered one of the movable metal baricades on the esplanade for the woman to use as a ladder. 

“She was on it, but she wasn’t making any progress,” Horvath said. Once reaching the woman, he pulled her out of the water and into the dinghy. “By that point [NYPD] Harbor Patrol had arrived and they took it from there.”

Horvath said the woman was shaken but seemed to be physically in good health. He declined to say what if anything the woman said while she was with him.

“We’re all professional sailors and sailing instructors here so it’s part of our training to know how to get people out of the water,” Horvath said after returning from teaching a sailing class later that evening. “That’s part of the training we don’t have to use very often, but it is a very necessary part.”

“I’m happy I was there and could get her out of the water as fast as I did. But police and Harbor Patrol were right there, as they always are,” Horvath added. I’m always impressed with both the speed and the size of the response to any on-the-water experiences that happens here.” 

Police said the woman was taken to NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center for psychological evaluation.