To the editor:
On Saturday night (June 24) I watched an unfortunate man drown in the Hudson River, mere inches from the Esplanade and South Cove, as I tried to explain to a 911 operator where the EMTs and NYPD Harbor Patrol would find BATTERY PARK CITY, the Esplanade and South Cove.
(I repeatedly told the operator in question that we were at the Hudson, lining up with the terminal dead end of South End Avenue, at the Hudson River where the esplanade turns east forming “South Cove”).
This was, shockingly, far from the first time I’ve experienced that mind-boggling disconnect between NYC emergency services and our neighborhood. Why don’t they know such vital information?
Why, moreover, is it virtually impossible to exit from the Hudson once the sea wall has been crossed?
There are no emergency life rings along the wall; no emergency call box, no ropes, no ladders or hand holds on the water side of the sea wall.
Once in the river, if no one from emergency services reaches you before the cold, the current and the water take you, you will have no chance of self-assist, even if you are calm, wholly conscious, strong, healthy and a good swimmer. Not so much as a ladder at regular intervals along the wall. This must be remedied, both as to the availability of egress from the water and educating emergency services personnel so that precious minutes are not lost to educating some fool that our City is bordered by the Hudson River and giving them multiple landmarks along the esplanade to identify a location with no street number nor even a street.