A helicopter made an emergency landing in the Hudson River on the Upper West Side today. The chopper, which contained a pilot and four passengers, landed in the river near W 79th Street and Riverside Drive just before noon Sunday. "Helicopter down in Hudson River the chopper is upright on floats fire reporting all people on board accounted for. Amazing," tweeted one witness.
The FDNY confirmed that all people onboard have now been rescued, and there were no injuries. Police have no additional information at the time, but we'll update as we learn more. Six years ago, a helicopter was forced to make an emergency landing at a baseball field near West 79th Street.
Update: The Post is reporting that it was a FOX-5 local news helicopter. But Metro is reporting that the helicopter was privately owned; they add that the passengers were two teenagers and two adults.
Update: Eyewitness Stefan Capan, a real estate broker who lives on the Upper West Side, was biking in Riverside Park with his girlfriend when he saw the helicopter go down. "We were sitting north of the Boat Basin Marina when I saw the helicopter approaching north, going very fast and losing altitude very quickly," he told us.
When he saw two yellow flotation devices emerge from the copter, "I freaked out because I thought it was flames." He called 911 and was put through to the Coast Guard immediately. He added that the five people were taken out of the water very quickly in two rafts, possibly before the FDNY had even arrived.
The Post have now updated their story to confirm it was a private helicopter, and not a FOX-5 chopper. NY1 adds that the copter lost engine power about 12 minutes into its flight, and the passengers were Swedish tourists.
Reporting by Jen Chung and Rebecca Fishbein