Harbor chief engineer rescued by NYPD speaks out

January 31, 2013 5:00:19 PM PST
The man saved by the NYPD in a sea and air rescue is speaking out about his ordeal.

Still moored in the harbor, the cargo ship "Grey Shark" is missing its chief engineer and technical manager, a valued crew member who is now on the mend.

"They saved my life. I no save my life, these people saved my life," said Aly Akl, of the Grey Shark.

Aly Akl and his heart are being monitored at Staten Island University Hospital after falling ill Tuesday evening onboard his ship. His lifeline though, came to his rescue in a most unusual way.

When called to help, the NYPD quickly responds with a harbor unit and one of its air rescue helicopters.

"I heard the helicopter outside, and I heard the people coming suddenly," Akl said.

But down in his cabin Akl was not doing too well.

"Just by looking at him I knew he was not doing good," Det. Brager said.

"In this time I feel I am going to die," Akl said.

Once on board, Detective Robert Brager, a medic with emergency services, went to work. Aly says he knew he would be OK.

"When he came in I saw his face. I feel I am in good hands. I feel I am in safe hands, I am feeling my life back to me anyway," Akl said.

Once stabilized, Akl was taken to the deck, and in what seemed a surreal moment, hoisted in a basket to the hovering craft.

"Everything was coming like a good movie, like a very good movie," Akl said.

The medic was then hoisted up as well. Then, Akl was rushed to doctors waiting for him at the hospital.

"The quick response definitely did help, because he came in with a blood pressure of 240 systolic which is very high. He did receive medication to bring that down," said Dr. Mohamad Yasmin, Internal Medicine.

But, he did not have a heart attack. He's now ordered to rest for a while.

In the meantime, he would like to meet the officers who saved his life, especially Detective Robert Brager.

"In one time, I feel I lost my life, but these people saved my life. I owe my life to the police, the New York Police Department," Akl said.

CLICK HERE to see the video of the rescue.

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