As I am prone to do when I have a few extra minutes to kill, I turn on the TV and click through the channels. I will always find something that interests me, a favorite movie, a MASH rerun, or the news of the day. Yesterday I found the last 25 minutes of the movie, “Sully”. I think we all know about the “Miracle on the Hudson” but it truly astonished me when I learned at the end of the movie that the time from the landing in the river to the dramatic rescue from the plane’s wings took 24 minutes. That is truly incredible!
Think about it. Had it been an exercise, a practice rescue on the Hudson, it would never have gone that well. It took cool under pressure from Captain Sullenberger but equal coolness from another Captain who was on the Hudson. Captain Vince Lombardi (no kidding), who was the man in charge of the Thomas Jefferson ferry, saw the plane and immediately headed their way. Upon arriving at the plane, his crew just did what they were trained to do. Said Captain Lombardi, ‘they knew what needed to be done.” (and they DID it!)
As a result, others joined in the rescue and 155 lives were saved and none were lost. 24 minutes! That’s how long it took from landing on the river to being plucked off the wings of that sinking plane.