An Irish American firefighter made a daring recovery on his way to work Tuesday, when he pulled a disorientated woman from the Hudson River and still made it to work on time for his 9am shift.
FDNY veteran Randy Regan was cycling to work early Tuesday when he noticed a woman floating in the Hudson river near W 82nd St.
“I called to her and she looked away, and I realized I had to go for a swim,” Regan said at a press conference on Tuesday.
“The first thing that went through my mind is that I know it’s cold and the current is strong.”
The 45-year-old climbed over a fence and dived into the 48-degree water as two female bystanders dialed 911.
The woman was clutching a five foot floating log when the firefighter reached her some 30 feet from the shore.
“She didn’t shout,” said Regan. “She was very calm, like she does it every day.”
The gutsy firefighter then swam back to the shore with the woman and a jogger helped him lift her over the fence.
“I’ve seen a lot in that river, but this was different,” said the father of two, who lives on the Upper West Side.
It’s still not clear how the 54-year-old woman, who was dressed in jogging clothes, ended up in the river.
“We asked, but we didn’t get any answers about how she got in,” Regan said. “She wasn’t saying much. She was shivering.”
Before emergency crews arrived at the scene they carried the woman to the nearby Boat Basin and wrapped her in a blanket. Soon after she was brought to St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital.
Dripping wet and unphased by his early morning rescue, Regan climbed back on his bike and continued onto his job at Ladder 20 in the East Village where he arrived on time for his 9am shift.
“I’ve lived in New York City my whole life,” he said. “As much as it seems like it’s a strange thing, it’s another day in Manhattan.”
Where does the term “the luck of the Irish” come from?