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(WLAC)   When Manhattan was attacked thousands of people were stuck on the island. This is the story of the Great Boat Lift (narrated by Tom Hanks)   (wlac.com) divider line 63
    More: Interesting, Boat Lift, Manhattan, boats  
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4609 clicks; posted to Main » on 12 Sep 2012 at 12:41 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-09-12 09:41:56 AM  
Thanks Subby, that's actually a story I'd never heard. Which a decade later is pretty rare.
 
2012-09-12 09:53:35 AM  
Everything should be narrated by one of three people, Tom Hanks, Morgan Freemen or Mike Rowe.
 
2012-09-12 11:52:01 AM  

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Everything should be narrated by one of three people, Tom Hanks, Morgan Freemen or Mike Rowe.


Titty sprinkles
 
2012-09-12 12:44:00 PM  
I'll bet they packed them on the poop deck.
 
2012-09-12 12:46:43 PM  

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Everything should be narrated by one of three people, Tom Hanks, Morgan Freemen or Mike Rowe.


Or Zombie Lorne Greene.
 
2012-09-12 12:47:40 PM  

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Everything should be narrated by one of three people, Tom Hanks, Morgan Freemen or Mike Rowe.


Bill Curtis
Will Lyman
and Don LaFontaine, from THE WORLD OF HIS SUNKEN GRAVE

all frown upon these shenanigans!
 
2012-09-12 12:50:49 PM  
Tom Hanks seems like a nice enough guy, but I always picture him talking like Forrest Gump.
 
2012-09-12 12:52:26 PM  
My dad had a hand in the boat lift. He worked for the Department of Transportation at the Battery Maritime Building near the terminal for the Staten Island Ferry. He worked for the private ferries department and he helped coordinate local private ferries to take people from Manhattan to Brooklyn and Staten Island.

/csb
 
2012-09-12 12:53:27 PM  

Jake Havechek: Tom Hanks seems like a nice enough guy, but I always picture him talking like Forrest Gump.


You're lucky.

img571.imageshack.us

He will always be Robbie Wheeling to me
 
2012-09-12 12:54:16 PM  
An inspiring story, no doubt. Thank you, subby.
 
2012-09-12 12:54:43 PM  
Not many know the story of the Great Boat Lift that evacuated over 500,000 people from Manhattan.

I'd be willing to wager that at least half a million people know the story quite well.
 
2012-09-12 12:57:03 PM  
Cool story. But does that really say "here it fist hand"? Yikes.
 
2012-09-12 12:57:31 PM  

axeeugene: The Stealth Hippopotamus: Everything should be narrated by one of three people, Tom Hanks, Morgan Freemen or Mike Rowe.

Bill Curtis
Will Lyman
and Don LaFontaine, from THE WORLD OF HIS SUNKEN GRAVE



David McCollough
Avery Brooks
David Attenborough
 
2012-09-12 12:57:43 PM  
^ uhhh, first hand.
 
2012-09-12 12:58:14 PM  

Tax Boy: axeeugene: The Stealth Hippopotamus: Everything should be narrated by one of three people, Tom Hanks, Morgan Freemen or Mike Rowe.

Bill Curtis
Will Lyman
and Don LaFontaine, from THE WORLD OF HIS SUNKEN GRAVE



David McCollough
Avery Brooks
David Attenborough


James Earl Jones frowns on your shenanigans.
 
2012-09-12 12:58:56 PM  
That boat lift was amazing. Kind of weird to have a Dunkirk on our own soil.
 
2012-09-12 12:59:03 PM  
I remember this quite well. A lot of my Jersey and Staten Island friends escaped this way.One managed to get on a "booze cruise" and she said you could barely breathe it was so stuffed with people.

Stores and restaurants and civilians (including me and my friends - we set up a free lemonade stand) also handed out flip flops, drinks, and food for people walking north to Westchester and to the other boroughs.

My mother in law walked from the WTC all the way to the Bronx (and right past my apartment on 14th St - I still have no idea why she didn't stop there) before my father in law picked her up.. she met a lot of other Rockland/Westchester people on her way up and he gave all of them rides (the Tappan Zee was still open).

It was a very odd thing.. without thinking all of NYC came together. A few of us were reminiscing about 9/11 yesterday... and although there were a lot of tears, we all agreed something eerilly beautiful happened during that time - it was the best of humanity, truly, that came out in the wake of a horrible tragedy.
 
2012-09-12 12:59:35 PM  
I'll always think of Tom Hanks as Buffy.
 
2012-09-12 12:59:50 PM  

Ivandrago: My dad had a hand in the boat lift. He worked for the Department of Transportation at the Battery Maritime Building near the terminal for the Staten Island Ferry. He worked for the private ferries department and he helped coordinate local private ferries to take people from Manhattan to Brooklyn and Staten Island.

/csb


Tell him thank you :-)
 
2012-09-12 01:00:32 PM  
Evacuation via jet-skis would have been more awesome - maybe with a pyramid formation in tow?
www.madcityskiteam.com
Never forget!
 
2012-09-12 01:01:20 PM  
Holy cow! There were 500,000 people in Manhattan too lazy to walk across a bridge that day?
 
2012-09-12 01:02:32 PM  

HAMMERTOE: Holy cow! There were 500,000 people in Manhattan too lazy to walk across a bridge that day?


I know you're trolling, but there are no bridges south of the WTC ... when they collapsed, yeah, the entirety of the financial district was cut off from the rest of Manhattan.
 
2012-09-12 01:06:27 PM  

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Everything should be narrated by one of three people, Tom Hanks, Morgan Freemen or Mike Rowe.


Five people... you're forgetting Bobcat Goldthwait and Sam Kinison.

Oh, wait... are they both dead?
 
2012-09-12 01:06:54 PM  

Ennuipoet: Thanks Subby, that's actually a story I'd never heard. Which a decade later is pretty rare.


Same here. Thanks Subtar, er, I mean Subby.

Man, that snark is hard to shake.
 
2012-09-12 01:07:16 PM  

seadoo2006: the entirety of the financial district was cut off from the rest of Manhattan.



Probably would have been better off had it stayed that way.
 
2012-09-12 01:08:14 PM  

seadoo2006: I know you're trolling, but there are no bridges south of the WTC ... when they collapsed, yeah, the entirety of the financial district was cut off from the rest of Manhattan.


Not really, as I don't believe the bridges were closed although I could be remembering incorrectly. But I think the tunnels were closed. I know a bunch of people who walked it to the boroughs and NJ/Westchester/Rockland. Staten Islanders would have had the toughest time though, having to walk through BK or NJ.
 
2012-09-12 01:09:18 PM  
images.landofnod.com

Hot; not as hot as the 7th circle of hell for those bastards.
 
2012-09-12 01:09:49 PM  
This is what should have aired after 9/11 instead of 11 years of FEAR HATE TERRORISTS MUSLIMS BOOGABOOGABOOGA

Also, I was wondering the same about bridges.
 
2012-09-12 01:10:28 PM  
So I'm guessing none of them were swimmers.
 
2012-09-12 01:12:48 PM  

HAMMERTOE: Holy cow! There were 500,000 people in Manhattan too lazy to walk across a bridge that day?


The path I took was from WTC toward the Brooklyn bridge. I went to my apt (which was virtually under the bridge) but most people kept going. It never occurred to me to evacuate Manhattan. Not even for a second. I still don't know why.
 
2012-09-12 01:13:32 PM  
Did the ship the Yankees out at sea?

/Wait, it's not 2019 yet.
 
2012-09-12 01:17:18 PM  

T.M.S.: The path I took was from WTC toward the Brooklyn bridge. I went to my apt (which was virtually under the bridge) but most people kept going. It never occurred to me to evacuate Manhattan. Not even for a second. I still don't know why.


Because you were a Manhattanite?

/didn't occur to me either
 
2012-09-12 01:17:38 PM  
My respect for the Coast Guard is once again elevated. It was high, but higher now. My respect for those with a boat and love of the seas is also high. Thanks buddies out on the water, my faith in humanity is slightly restored today even if this was 11 years ago.
 
2012-09-12 01:17:41 PM  

seadoo2006: HAMMERTOE: Holy cow! There were 500,000 people in Manhattan too lazy to walk across a bridge that day?

I know you're trolling, but there are no bridges south of the WTC ... when they collapsed, yeah, the entirety of the financial district was cut off from the rest of Manhattan.


Cut off by what? Walking uptown was not difficult.
 
2012-09-12 01:18:09 PM  
SN1987a goes boom:

James Earl Jones frowns on your shenanigans.

Nah, I don't like him. Why? He insists upon himself.

J/K

Really, though, I think Jones's voice is just a bit too prominent, just as I think Freeman's is. When Jones is speaking, all I can think is, "DARTH VADER IS TALKING!" And when Freeman narrates, he seems to be the center of my attention.

I'm totally in agreement with David McCollough and David Attenborough, though. The Attenborough brothers both are amazing VO artists. It seriously offends me that producers of American versions of nature programs narrated by David would dare replace his voice at all, let alone by someone as blandly talentless as Oprah Winfrey.
 
2012-09-12 01:22:49 PM  

seadoo2006: I know you're trolling, but there are no bridges south of the WTC ... when they collapsed, yeah, the entirety of the financial district was cut off from the rest of Manhattan.


Not trolling in the least bit. Manhattan Island is nearly a mile wide at the latitude of the WTC and most certainly was not "cut off" from anywhere. Granted, the self-important pricks on Wall St. were certainly inconvenienced a bit, but the boat-lift was a convenience, not a necessity.
 
2012-09-12 01:33:21 PM  
Really should have had img1.fark.net tag.
 
2012-09-12 01:35:15 PM  
In 1931, the Fire Department of New York took delivery of the John J. Harvey, the first fireboat the city owned that was not powered by steam. She had eight deck-mounted water cannons, known as "monitors," that used her five, 600 horsepower Fairbanks-Morse diesel engines to pump an astounding 18,000 gallons of water per minute-roughly the equivalent of 24 modern-day fire trucks. And unlike trucks that would run out of water within minutes if a hydrant wasn't nearby, she had an endless supply since she dropped her intake valves directly in the river or the harbor.

For the next 63 years, the Harvey fought fires along the waterfront and was there for many spectacular events, including the fire that destroyed the Normandie as she was being converted to a troopship during World War II. She also fought a fire on a munitions ship that threatened to destroy New York Harbor. In 1966, she and her crew pulled alongside two oil tankers that had collided in the harbor and were engulfed in flames. During those 63 years, a lot changed. The year she was commissioned, the Empire State Building was completed, becoming the tallest building in not only New York, but the world. Forty years later, the twin towers of the World Trade Center took that title, but the Harvey was still protecting the city. When the city began to use radios to dispatch the Fire Department instead of old-fashioned alarm boxes, the Harvey was given the callsign "Marine Two."

Harvey was retired in 1994, and in 1999 she was auctioned off, with the intention of a salvage company buying her for scrap. But a group of people had an interesting idea: Buy the Harvey and convert her for use as a tour boat. Roughly 20 people scraped up $28,000 and formed a non-profit organization to restore the Harvey. Every member of the group was a volunteer. Some included former firefighters that had served on the Harvey, some had never set foot on a boat before. Several were Wall Street types that had made a killing in the early days of the dot-com boom, and at least two were artists. In June of 2000, the Harvey was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Eventually, almost $200,000 was spent to refurbish the boat. She began making trips up and down the Hudson River carrying passengers on sightseeing trips. Because of the costs involved, the group registered the vessel with the Coast Guard for private use, and regulations therefore meant that passengers could not be charged. Donations were welcomed, but they came nowhere near enough to pay for everything. The volunteer mechanics slowly worked on all the Harvey's equipment, eventually coming to the monitors. Once they restored those, the crew would sometimes spray water in all directions for the passengers' amusement. Those old diesels were sometimes cantankerous, but when they worked they had enough power to arc water over the deck of the George Washington or Brooklyn Bridges.

Then, came September 11th, 2001.

That morning, five men that were part of the group that saved the Harvey made their way to her berth at Pier 63. Chase Welles, Tomas Cavallero, pilot Huntley Gill, and engineers Tim Ivory and Andrew Furber decided to use the Harvey to help the other boats and ferries that were evacuating people across the mouth of the Hudson to New Jersey. They got there about ten minutes after the second tower collapsed and took on around 150 survivors. They pulled away in a scene reminiscent of the British evacuation at Dunkirk more than 60 years before and headed for the opposite shore.

Suddenly, over Channel 16 came a call for the Harvey. When the towers collapsed, they destroyed the water mains in Lower Manhattan. FDNY had no water. Could the Harvey help? She dropped her passengers and raced back. Joining the only two remaining fireboats that New York had left, the Harvey tied up at the Battery to trees that lined the riverbank. Hoses were hooked up to all the deck fittings, and those old diesels were asked to give their all just one more time. FDNY sent over a radio and instructions that the Harvey was to be referred to as "Marine Two" once again until notified otherwise.

From just before noon that Tuesday until that Friday, those Fairbanks-Morse diesels never once faltered. Other members of the group arrived to relieve the original five. Harvey pumped more than 80 million gallons of water through hoses laid several blocks to dozens of fire engines. Early Wednesday morning, the crew hooked up an inch-and-a-half hose and washed off a large area of the Battery, clearing the ash and debris that coated all of Lower Manhattan. When finished, that spot became the staging area for the Search and Rescue operations that continued for nearly a week. It was the one spot that emergency workers could, for several months, escape the overwhelming dust that choked everyone and covered everything.

After four days, Public Works managed to restore the water mains. The crew of the Harvey signed off as "Marine Two" one last time, and eased away from the Battery. The next month, Harvey turned 70.

If you ever get a chance to go to New York City, make reservations to take a cruise on the Harvey at http://www.fireboat.org. Maybe, if the weather is nice, you'll get to feel the 3,000 horsepower rumble of those Fairbanks-Morse diesels and watch 18,000 gallons of water per minute decorate the skies of Manhattan one more time.
 
2012-09-12 01:37:04 PM  

Malivon: My respect for the Coast Guard is once again elevated. It was high, but higher now. My respect for those with a boat and love of the seas is also high. Thanks buddies out on the water, my faith in humanity is slightly restored today even if this was 11 years ago.


Of all the people who work or play on the water, I'd say every single one would do everything they could to save lives when on the water. Bystanders don't seem to exist when there's an emergency on the water.
 
2012-09-12 01:42:53 PM  
@kf4lar - that's an awesome story. Hubby wants to go into NYC this weekend to look at how far they've gotten on the new tower since we were there last September, and I will suggest we check out the Harvey as well. :)
 
2012-09-12 01:44:34 PM  

axeeugene: SN1987a goes boom:

James Earl Jones frowns on your shenanigans.

Nah, I don't like him. Why? He insists upon himself.

J/K

Really, though, I think Jones's voice is just a bit too prominent, just as I think Freeman's is. When Jones is speaking, all I can think is, "DARTH VADER IS TALKING!" And when Freeman narrates, he seems to be the center of my attention.

I'm totally in agreement with David McCollough and David Attenborough, though. The Attenborough brothers both are amazing VO artists. It seriously offends me that producers of American versions of nature programs narrated by David would dare replace his voice at all, let alone by someone as blandly talentless as Oprah Winfrey.


Yeah, but I think he could pull off a narration about something as somber profound as this quite well.
 
2012-09-12 01:46:05 PM  

Lollipop165: T.M.S.: The path I took was from WTC toward the Brooklyn bridge. I went to my apt (which was virtually under the bridge) but most people kept going. It never occurred to me to evacuate Manhattan. Not even for a second. I still don't know why.

Because you were a Manhattanite?

/didn't occur to me either



No. It just never did. I was covered in all that crap so I went home, took a shower and walked to Union Square where my girlfriend lived. We never discussed leaving but a bunch of the folks who gathered at her place did head out.
 
2012-09-12 01:56:24 PM  
"We have done the impossible, and that makes us mighty." ~ Another Captain
 
2012-09-12 02:00:51 PM  

HAMMERTOE: seadoo2006: I know you're trolling, but there are no bridges south of the WTC ... when they collapsed, yeah, the entirety of the financial district was cut off from the rest of Manhattan.

Not trolling in the least bit. Manhattan Island is nearly a mile wide at the latitude of the WTC and most certainly was not "cut off" from anywhere. Granted, the self-important pricks on Wall St. were certainly inconvenienced a bit, but the boat-lift was a convenience, not a necessity.


While not a "necessity", it's still pretty bad ass that a bunch of mofo's with boats said "fuggit...." and opted to hook a bunch of strangers up with a ride out of a shiatty situation.

I can imagine a lot of folks in that area were pretty much terrified, due to a lack of accurate information, and the fact that they were simply not physically capable of walking all the way out of the affected area by themselves. A mile, to some, may as well be a thousand miles to others.

Respect to you, boat people of NYC.
 
2012-09-12 02:03:10 PM  

kf4lar: In 1931, the Fire Department of New York...


Thank you for posting that.
 
2012-09-12 02:04:57 PM  

KaiC: @kf4lar - that's an awesome story. Hubby wants to go into NYC this weekend to look at how far they've gotten on the new tower since we were there last September, and I will suggest we check out the Harvey as well. :)


http://www.fireboat.org/calendar.php

Looks like they have a trip Saturday, but it's solidly booked. Still you could see them off at the pier.
 
2012-09-12 02:08:03 PM  

HAMMERTOE: the self-important pricks


Physician, heal thyself.
 
2012-09-12 02:10:23 PM  

HAMMERTOE: seadoo2006: I know you're trolling, but there are no bridges south of the WTC ... when they collapsed, yeah, the entirety of the financial district was cut off from the rest of Manhattan.

Not trolling in the least bit. Manhattan Island is nearly a mile wide at the latitude of the WTC and most certainly was not "cut off" from anywhere. Granted, the self-important pricks on Wall St. were certainly inconvenienced a bit, but the boat-lift was a convenience, not a necessity.


Wanna know how I know you weren't there that day?
 
2012-09-12 02:13:20 PM  

HAMMERTOE: Holy cow! There were 500,000 people in Manhattan too lazy to walk across a bridge that day?


To New Jersey? My cousin hitched a ride on a tugboat to get across the river. It made his day suck a little less.
 
2012-09-12 02:21:35 PM  
It's like a mini-Dunkirk. Without all the nazis.
 
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