2 remain hospitalized after ferry hit kayakers in Hudson River

UPPER WEST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) -- At least 11 people were struck while kayaking by a ferry in the Hudson River on Tuesday evening. Two of those struck remain hospitalized.

It's been a tough 24 hours at Manhattan Kayaking Company after a group of kayakers were injured during a collision with a commuter ferry Tuesday evening.

But Wednesday night they're back on the water, being even more careful than ever.

"This is our nightmare. This is the event that doesn't happen. We are trained, 20 years, thousands of tours, no collisions. There's a reason we watch carefully, we keep our people trained," said Eric Stiller, the owner of Manhattan Kayaking Company.

He's thankful no one was killed.

His senior instructor was hurt the worst. Jay Cartagena has a broken rib punctured lung and cut arm.

He told Eyewitness News by phone that he's, "Feeling a little banged up but ok, and hope to be back at Manhattan Kayak within the next couple of days."

"From what I do understand, it is that he was waving the paddle back-and-forth to try to garner some attention," Stiller said.

Investigators have not released the speed at impact or the cause, but have said glare from the setting sun may have impacted the captain's visibility.

Boaters say the rules of the road on the water are clear, power vessels are required to yield right-of-way to vessels that don't have engines.

Kayaker Eric Soto believes this was bound to happen on such a busy waterway.

"I make sure I stay by the shore line, make sure I stay out of the shipping lanes, and out of harm's way," Soto said.

The kayaking company's owner says he has rerouted his tours.

They no longer go south towards the ferries.

He says that's a temporary decision until he gets all of the facts on what happened.
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