Boat overturns in Queens at College Point Yacht Club; 19 pulled from water

COLLEGE POINT (WABC) -- FDNY rescue teams jumped into action after a dragon boat overturned Sunday afternoon near the Whitestone Bridge, leaving nearly 20 people into the East River.

The people were part of a competitive rowing team, and they were out for a run when just before 2 p.m. the boat suddenly capsized by the College Point Yacht Club.

Everyone was wearing life jackets, and they say they were only about 50 yards from shore. They said they could probably swim back to land if they had to, but they decided to stick together in the water for safety reasons. That ended up being a smart decision, because FDNY rescue teams arrived within minutes to pull them out.

"Everyone kept their cool. I think that's what really kept us together. Everyone keeping their cool and nobody panicked," said rower Louis Idarraga, "it was a little rough. It wasn't that cold, but it was cold enough that we were in there long enough that it was starting to get cold."

The dragon boat racers say they were about two hours into their run. They launched off from the World's Fair Marina by Citi Field. The Whitestone Bridge was their halfway point, and they had turned around on their way back when this happened. Everyone was rescued safely, and no injuries were reported.

And one more thing - just before the boat capsized, one of the racers had proposed to his girlfriend. The boat is now at the bottom of the river, but the ring was saved. Spoiler Alert: She said yes!

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