A New York Police Department spokesman identified the victims to The Washington Post as 47-year-old Lindelia Vasquez and 7-year-old Julian Vasquez, both from Colombia. They had boarded a jet boat called Stimulus Money from Elizabeth, NJ, for a family trip to the Hudson River, according to WABC.
Three people, including the captain, were seriously injured. The injured passengers, who have not been publicly identified, are between the ages of 24 and 51, according to police. They were transported to Mount Sinai West Hospital and were admitted in stable condition on Wednesday morning, police told The Post. All other family members on board, all from Colombia, suffered less serious injuries, officials said.
Assistant Police Chief James McCarthy said on a… news conference that the owner of the boat “actually followed the boat on a jet ski”. As authorities pick up the boat, one of the issues they will assess is whether the boat had overcapacity, McCarthy said.
“The cause of this incident is still under investigation,” the police told The Post.
Inspector Anthony Russo of the Harbor Unit told reporters that several factors may have played a role in the capsizing of the 27-foot Yamaha vessel near the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, including boat “approaching from different directions, waves from different directions.”
“There is a lot of commercial and recreational traffic here during the day. We also have a lot of people on jet skis, kayaks,” Russo said. “The Hudson River is always a dangerous place to operate.”
He added: “It takes some skill to operate in the Hudson River, so it could have been a contributing factor.”
Naval and land units responded to the Hudson River shortly after the boat capsized, according to the New York City Fire Department. Video posted to social media shows rescuers in the water scrambling to retrieve passengers from the capsized boat.
FDNY firefighter Ryan Warnock admitted to reporters that a young victim can change the emotional state of first responders, “but you just have a job to do, and you do it.”
“This is a tragic day for New Yorkers,” New York Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said at a news conference. “Indeed, it could have been worse, not only because of the incredible efforts of not only our own extraordinary first responders, but also because of the swift response of the New York Waterway ferries that rescued nine additional people from the water.”
After arriving near the scene of the incident, New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) described the fatal capsizing as “a devastating moment.”
“Our hearts go out to a group of people who just used the water in our city,” Adams said. “This is a devastating moment for them and those who were part of the families who were there, and as New Yorkers our hearts go out.”
The mayor also added a warning to anyone who chooses to go on the Hudson this summer.
“It’s a clear reminder for us as we move through the summer months: Water is a fun part of New York, but it can be a dangerous place,” Adams said.