FDNY Firefighter Biking to Work Rescues Woman

Firefighter Randy Regan swam about 30 to 40 feet in the 48-degree water.


For FDNY Firefighter Randy Regan, the work day began early on Tuesday.

On his morning bike ride to work his from apartment in Manhattan to his shift at Ladder 20, Regan rescued a woman from the Hudson River.

"I've lived in New York my whole life and you see a lot of strange things," Regan said at a press conference. "It’s a little odd to see someone in the water, but this is New York."

It was around 7:30 a.m. when he noticed two women looking down into the water near 79th Street at a woman floating downstream.

After instructing the women to call 911, he climbed over a fence and down a rock wall next to the water and began yelling to get the woman's attention.

When she kept looking away, he said "I knew I had to go for a swim."

He jumped in and swam about 30 to 40 feet in the 48-degree water.

Being a former lifeguard he wasn't worried about the swim, but was concerned about the temperature.

"Without the equipment, you do what you have to do," he said. "I had no choice, I had to get her."

Regan said the woman was calm as he brought her to shore and was assisted by civilians in moving up the rock wall and over the fence.

Emergency crews were not yet on the scene so he went down to the nearby Boat Basin and asked for a blanket that he wrapped the woman in.

Crews soon arrived and prepared to transport the woman St. Luke's Hospital.

Regan gave police all the information he could, but left them with the number to his station because he had to get to work.

"I've been a firefighter for 20 years," he said. "This is what we do; we're trained to rescue people no matter what the situation. It sounds silly but it's just another day … maybe just a little different."