Luiz C. Ribeiro for NY Daily News via Getty Images
(NEW YORK) — Two people, including a 7-year-old boy, died after a boat capsized on the Hudson River, the New York Police Department said.
Julian Vasquez, 7, and Lindelia Vasquez, 47, both became trapped underneath the boat, police said. The pair were unresponsive when first responders pulled them from the water and were pronounced dead, NYPD Assistant Chief James McCarthy told reporters during a press briefing Tuesday evening.
The two were part of family from Colombia travelling together, who boarded the jet boat — named Stimulus Money — in Elizabeth, New Jersey.
Eleven other family members, all from Colombia, were injured, including at least six women and three men, police said. The boat captain, who was licensed and is from Elizabeth, was also hurt, officials said.
Along with the two dead, four occupants of the boat went to Mount Sinai Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Two people are also hospitalized in critical condition, including the boat’s captain, authorities said.
The U.S. Coast Guard, New York Fire Department and NYPD responded shortly before 3 p.m. to reports of an overturned vessel near Pier 86, in front of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in Manhattan.
The 27-foot boat was being chartered by family and friends, and the owner of the boat was trailing behind it on a Jet Ski, authorities said.
Authorities are investigating what caused the boat to capsize — including whether it was overloaded.
“There were 12 people on the boat, and when we bring the boat up, we’ll find out what was the capacity of the boat,” McCarthy said.
Investigators will also consider the conditions of the water.
“There’s a lot of commercial and recreational traffic during the day here,” Inspector Anthony Russo, commanding officer of NYPD’s Harbor Unit, told reporters. “We had the current, the wind. So you can have waves approaching from different directions.”
“It takes some skill to operate in the Hudson River, so it could have been a contributing factor,” he continued, though he noted it’s early in the investigation. “The Hudson River is always a dangerous place to operate.”
NY Waterway, which operates a ferry service between New York City and New Jersey, said two of its ferries responded to the scene and helped pull nine passengers from the private boat.
“We are so proud of the NY Waterway captains and crews that leapt into action today to rescue boaters following the maritime accident in the Hudson,” the company said on Twitter while sharing photos of the rescue. “Their training and professionalism saved lives, as they have countless times before.”
New York City Mayor Eric Adams commended the rescue response while warning New Yorkers to be safe in the city’s waters this summer.
“Our hearts go out to a group of people who were just using the water in our city,” he said. “This is a devastating moment for them.”
ABC News’ Will Gretsky contributed to this report.
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