GOVERNORS ISLAND — A teen tourist standing on a dock to get a view of New York Harbor had to be rescued after a section of wood he stepped on broke free and he was swept miles out into New York Harbor.
Armaan Raj Munglani, 19, from London, clambered onto the 6-by-4-foot wooden raft, which was initially attached to the dock, on the Jersey City waterfront at 2:30 a.m. Thursday.
“I put my foot on it,” Munglani told DNAinfo of the "barge-type raft thing" he stepped onto from the dock.
“When I do that, my other foot pushes on it propelling it to go forward. I’m trying to push myself back and maneuver myself, but it’s not working. The next thing you know, I’m in the middle of the Hudson.”
He said he desperately tried to flag down some cruise ships along the river, but nobody saw him. His cellphone had gotten soaked, he noted, preventing him from calling 911.
“I just started thinking about my life and all the things I haven’t done,” Munglani said.
He then started to scribble some final words to his parents in a small journal he kept with him.
The, around 4:50 a.m., he said his phone suddenly started working again and he dialed 911.
FDNY rescue boats arrived minutes later and pulled him to safety about a quarter-mile off of Governors Island, fire officials said.
“They were the most amazing people on the planet,” the teen said. “They’re amazing people with a great sense of humor. They know how to rescue people and how to keep them calm.”
Munglani, who plans to pursue a career in media management, said he’ll never forget the ordeal.
“I thought I was going to die,” he said. “If a big cruiser doesn’t crush me, I’m probably going out to the Atlantic.”