PopMatters is moving to WordPress. We will publish a few essays daily while we develop the new site. We hope the beta will be up sometime late next week.
News

Boater's dramatic tale told in book

Nick Clunn
The Record (Hackensack N.J.) (MCT)

RUTHERFORD, N.J. — When US Airways Flight 1549 splashed down on a frigid Hudson River last year with 150 passengers on board, Scott Koen of Rutherford sprang into action.

Heralded as one of the first rescuers to reach the airliner that January day, Koen gives a firsthand account in a new book, "Brace for Impact," and writes about how the "Miracle on the Hudson" affected him in the year that followed.

Unveiling that impact was the focus of the book's authors, Dorothy Firman and Kevin Quirk, who see the stories told by Koen and 24 others as a source of inspiration.

We asked Koen about that day and the book, which will be released Friday, the one-year anniversary of the event.

Q. Can you explain that day and how it played out?

A. It was going to be cold that day, so I wanted to make sure the boat was OK.

I warmed the boat up, made sure it was working OK, and charged the battery up before I shut it back down. And right at that point, when the boat was all nice and warm, a voice on the radio said "Plane down in the north river." So I let the lines go, and I pulled on out to see where it was. I pulled around the corner, and I see this huge tail sticking out of the water.

So I get on over to the aircraft. By that time there are four New York Waterway ferries, and the New York City Fire Department was there. The ferries, they were having a hard time.

It was like a delicate ballet because the ferries would pull in, but then they would have to start pulling out because you can't see the people you're trying to rescue. So I get up beside the aircraft, and I put my boat right up by the cockpit. And there are two guys on the wing right there. I got on the back of my boat and I was able to pull one guy up on top of my boat.

He said, "Thank you, thank you, but please save the others." I ended up getting on top of a ferry and climbing down his rescue ladder because there was one guy who was really hypothermic and having a hard time getting up the ladder. So I just started helping people on up.

Q. Explain how the incident affected you the year afterward.

A. Mostly for me, it wasn't really a transformation. Mostly for me, it was a step and positive energy.

I feel that I am being guided along, and that it was just another thing. For some reason, I read books on how to fly jets and actually have books on what do you do in a water rescue, how you ditch an airplane.

And all of a sudden, one ditches in front of me. Fifteen minutes one way, and 15 minutes the other way, I wouldn't have been on the boat.

Before, the engine wouldn't have been warm. I wouldn't have had the boat started.

And afterward, I would have gone home. So what are the chances? For some reason, things that I learn actually come to fruition. When I learn something, sooner or later, I'll get to use it somehow.

Q. What do you hope people take away from your story?

A. That they prepare themselves for the eventuality of bad things happening. They always do.

Sooner or later, there is going to be a fire in your house. Sooner or later, someone will become injured.

And it doesn't take too much to learn how to react in those situations.

But if you take that little bit of time and learn, then when that does happen to your loved one, or a total stranger, you'll be able to react in a appropriate manner and be able to help them. A lot of people die needlessly because someone didn't know CPR.

Q. Some people think that's a paranoid way to live. What would you say to that?

A. It's not really paranoia. It's more wanting to be proactive.

Stuff like that does happen.

Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology and hosting provider that we have less than a month, until November 6, to move PopMatters off their service or we will be shut down. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to save the site.


Music

Books

Film

Recent
Books

Peter Guralnick's 'Looking to Get Lost' Is an Ode to the Pleasures of Writing About Music

Peter Guralnick's homage to writing about music, 'Looking to Get Lost', shows how good music writing gets the music into the readers' head.

Film

In Praise of the Artifice in George Cukor's 'Sylvia Scarlett'

George Cukor's gender-bending Sylvia Scarlett proposes a heroine who learns nothing from her cross-gendered ordeal.

Music

The Cure: Ranking the Albums From 13 to 1

Just about every Cure album is worth picking up, and even those ranked lowest boast worthwhile moments. Here are their albums, spanning 29 years, presented from worst to best.

Television

The 20 Best Episodes of 'Star Trek: The Original Series'

This is a timeless list of 20 thrilling Star Trek episodes that delight, excite, and entertain, all the while exploring the deepest aspects of the human condition and questioning our place in the universe.

Music

The 20 Best Tom Petty Songs

With today's release of Tom Petty's Wildflowers & All the Rest (Deluxe Edition), we're revisiting Petty's 20 best songs.

Joshua M. Miller
Music

The 11 Greatest Hits From "Greatest Hits" Compilations

It's one of the strangest pop microcosms in history: singles released exclusively from Greatest Hits compilations. We rounded 'em up and ranked 'em to find out what is truly the greatest Greatest Hit of all.

Music

When Punk Got the Funk

As punks were looking for some potential pathways out of the cul-de-sacs of their limited soundscapes, they saw in funk a way to expand the punk palette without sacrificing either their ethos or idea(l)s.

Music

20 Hits of the '80s You Might Not Have Known Are Covers

There were many hit cover versions in the '80s, some of well-known originals, and some that fans may be surprised are covers.

Music

The Reign of Kindo Discuss Why We're Truly "Better Off Together"

The Reign of Kindo's Joseph Secchiaroli delves deep into their latest single and future plans, as well as how COVID-19 has affected not only the band but America as a whole.

Books

Tommy Siegel's Comic 'I Hope This Helps' Pokes at Social Media Addiction

Jukebox the Ghost's Tommy Siegel discusses his "500 Comics in 500 Days" project, which is now a new book, I Hope This Helps.

Music

Kimm Rogers' "Lie" Is an Unapologetically Political Tune (premiere)

San Diego's Kimm Rogers taps into frustration with truth-masking on "Lie". "What I found most frustrating was that no one would utter the word 'lie'."

Music

50 Years Ago B.B. King's 'Indianola Mississippi Seeds' Retooled R&B

B.B. King's passion for bringing the blues to a wider audience is in full flower on the landmark album, Indianola Mississippi Seeds.

Film

Filmmaker Marlon Riggs Knew That Silence = Death

In turning the camera on himself, even in his most vulnerable moments as a sick and dying man, filmmaker and activist Marlon Riggs demonstrated the futility of divorcing the personal from the political. These films are available now on OVID TV.

Film

The Human Animal in Natural Labitat: A Brief Study of the Outcast

The secluded island trope in films such as Cast Away and television shows such as Lost gives culture a chance to examine and explain the human animal in pristine, lab like, habitat conditions. Here is what we discover about Homo sapiens.

Music

Bad Wires Release a Monster of a Debut with 'Politics of Attraction'

Power trio Bad Wires' debut Politics of Attraction is a mix of punk attitude, 1990s New York City noise, and more than a dollop of metal.

Music

'Waiting Out the Storm' with Jeremy Ivey

On Waiting Out the Storm, Jeremy Ivey apologizes for present society's destruction of the environment and wonders if racism still exists in the future and whether people still get high and have mental health issues.

Music

Matt Berninger Takes the Mic Solo on 'Serpentine Prison'

Serpentine Prison gives the National's baritone crooner Matt Berninger a chance to shine in the spotlight, even if it doesn't push him into totally new territory.

Music

MetalMatters: The Best New Heavy Metal Albums of September 2020

Oceans of Slumber thrive with their progressive doom, grind legends Napalm Death make an explosive return, and Anna von Hausswolff's ambient record are just some of September's highlights.


Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.