A couple of novice boaters who spent the night aboard their vessel after it ran aground on an islet in Queens said Wednesday that they are grateful to the NYPD for coming to their rescue.
Kevin and Jenny Huynh told NBC 4 New York that they decided late Monday afternoon to take their 22-foot boat on a maiden voyage in Jamaica Bay.
The boat, a birthday gift from Huynh to his wife, soon ran aground. Huynh said he misunderstood signs and thought the depth was 37 feet, when it actually was three feet, seven inches.
"I know the water is too low, too low," he said.
His wife cannot swim, so the couple decided to spend the night aboard the boat and wait for high tide to set them free.
"He did bring his jacket, but I only had a light sweater," she said. "How was it on the boat? It was so cold."
At sunrise, they were still stranded with dead cellphones, and no food or water.
Huynh said he didn't feel they were in danger, but his wife of 20 years politely disagreed.
So when Jenny Huynh spotted a sailboat in the distance, she shouted for help.
A short time later, an NYPD helicopter approached.
Video from a helicopter shows police rescuers hoisting the two boaters up one at a time from the marshy islet, located about a mile from the shoreline of Canarsie Pol, a small island in the bay.
The couple said they were extremely grateful to the chopper crew.
"They were so nice. They were so professional," said Jenny Huynh.
And Kevin Huynh offers this bit of advice to new boat owners: Don't launch your boat until you're properly trained.