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Boats Answer the Call on 9/11

By Deb Heisler

September 11, 2001, was a national day of tragedy. Although it was 19 years ago, many of us remember exactly where we were, what we were doing, and who was with us. We will never forget the sights witnessed and shared by the entire world that day.

The World Trade Center was under terrorist attack and the streets of Lower Manhattan filled with people scrambling in terror – not knowing what was happening. Most people escaped, but many did not. There were over 6,000  injured and almost 3,000 dead.

This day is also known for the most massive sea evacuation in history. Civilians ran to the sea walls desperate for escape, and the boats came. Mariners have long recognized their obligation to assist persons in distress at sea, and on this specific day, there were hundreds of thousands of people in distress and stranded on Manhattan Island.

In nine short hours, approximately 500,000 people were rescued by boat. The story of the evacuation rescue is captured in a 2011 documentary titled “BoatLift,” written and produced by Eddie Rosenstein of Eyepop Productions.

Click the photo above to watch the video “BoatLift”

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History