A ferry struck a group of 10 kayakers on the Hudson River Tuesday evening, critically injuring two of the paddlers and knocking a number of them into the water, authorities said.
The kayakers, a class of nine with one instructor, were hit by the NY Waterway ferry as they were heading south at about 6 p.m. near Pier 79 in midtown, police said.
The ferry was departing the pier on 39th Street when it struck the boaters, police said.
Five of 10 paddlers were injured in the crash. The instructor, an employee of the Manhattan Kayak Company, was the most seriously injured, authorities said.
When the NYPD Harbor Unit rescued the instructor from the river, a bone from his arm was exposed and he was drifting in and out of consciousness. Officers applied a tourniquet just below his shoulder before he was transported to the hospital.
An NYPD harbor unit police officer, Tommy Le, is credited with saving the instructor's life — pulling him from the water, getting him onto the boat and stopping the flow of blood just in time.
"The aided with the most injuries, he was lying on top of the kayak. There was this pool of blood. We knew that we had to go over there and assist him, priority. We were able to pull him onto the boat. Once I got onto the boat, my partner and I pulled the other two out who were also hanging onto the kayak," Le said.
Another person was badly injured in addition to the instructor. The other three kayakers suffered minor injuries. They were taken to Mount Sinai Hospital.
A spokesman for NY Waterway, the ferry's operator, says it is cooperating with the New York Police Department and the Coast Guard on the investigation.
Manhattan Kayak said in a Facebook post that "all participating kayakers were properly outfitted with safety gear and fully briefed on safety protocols.
Coast Guard investigators are looking into whether glare from the sun could have played a role as well.