After Heart Attack, Ship Engineer Is Rescued by Helicopter

The New York police staged a nighttime helicopter rescue mission in New York Harbor on Tuesday, saving the life of the ship’s 60-year-old chief engineer, who had a heart attack while the 360-foot cargo vessel was anchored far from shore.

The police received a distress call at 9:45 p.m. about the stricken engineer aboard the Grey Shark.

The ship, which is based in Brooklyn and brings cars and trucks to St. Marc, Haiti, was anchored off Staten Island between the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and the ferry terminal, waiting out a patch of bad weather, said an official of Devon Shipping, Inc, which owns the vessel. The Police Department’s harbor unit ferried Detective Robert Brager, a tactical medic with the Emergency Services Unit, to the ship.

Once on board, Detective Brager treated the engineer, Aly Akl, but decided that “the safest, and quickest, way to get the patient off the ship to a hospital would be to airlift him off,” the police said.

A Bell 412 police helicopter was already on its way to the location and once it arrived, rescue workers lowered a basket to the ship’s deck and Mr. Akl was lifted onto the helicopter.

Detective Brager was also hoisted up to the helicopter, where he continued to monitor the patient on the flight to Staten Island University North Hospital.

On Wednesday, Mr. Akl was in stable condition, the police said.


Andy Newman contributed reporting.

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