Skip To Content

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe

Rescuer in George Washington Bridge Plunge Was 2009 ‘Miracle on the Hudson’ Hero

Rescuers saved a woman who leapt from New York’s famed George Washington Bridge — and for one of them it wasn’t the first time playing hero on the Hudson.

Ironically, Heshy Gottdiener, Scott Koen and others were on the Hudson River already helping a family from his home in upstate New York look for a the body of David Ahronowitz, 46, who committed suicide from the bridge on Jan. 22, .

Scott Koen Image by Facebook

“We know a person has to be buried in order that the soul should rest in peace,” he told the news site.

It’s rare for jumpers to be rescued or survive: Since 2009, only one other has lived; 95 died.

Scott Koen, the boat’s captain, said: “I could see there was an eighth of a face above water.”

The woman’s left leg was broken, it was reported.

Image by Getty

In a shocking twist, Koen also played a starring role in the January 15, 2009 Miracle on the Hudson rescue of passengers after US Airways Flight 1549 was forced to make an emergency landing in the water.

Seven years ago, he piloted his boat to the crippled aircraft along with others and helped ferry passengers to safety in the frigid waters of the river.

“They were more concerned about each other more than themselves,” Koen wrote to The New York Times on the first anniversary of the rescue. “It say(s) a lot about our country.”





    Hybrid: Online and at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

    Oct 2, 2022

    6:30 pm ET · 

    A Sukkah, IMKHA, created by artist Tobi Kahn, for the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan is an installation consisting of 13 interrelated sculpted painted wooden panels, constituting a single work of art. Join for a panel discussion with Rabbi Joanna Samuels, Chief Executive Director of the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan, Talya Zax, Innovation Editor of the Forward, and Tobi Kahn, Artist. Moderated by Mattie Kahn.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.