Tourist out to see sunrise drifts miles into Hudson River on plywood

JERSEY CITY, New Jersey (WABC) -- A man getting ready to watch the sunrise on a piece of plywood in a marina was swept out by the Hudson River current and wound up about two nautical miles away near Governors Island Thursday.

Armaan Munglani, a 19-year-old visiting from London, was sent drifting into the river on an 8-foot-long piece of plywood on Thursday around 4:45 a.m., a little more than half an hour before the sun came up, Fire Department of New York Capt. Louis Guzzo said.

"I was going nuts at the moment," he said. "I was screaming and shouting like a little girl."

But what he couldn't do was use his cell phone to call for help.

"I tried to paddle my way back, and while doing this, I dropped my wallet in the water," he said. "And my phone got wet."

He tried to dry it on his clothes as the current carried him through the New York Harbor.

"I started having flashes about my life," he said. "It was depressing, but there was nothing I could do but sit on the raft...I was just hoping that I did not get trampled by one of them big cruises."

Eventually, his phone started to work, and he called 911. The FDNY's Marine 6 and Marine 1 were on the case, and in the early-morning darkness, they spotted him.

"At first, we just thought it was debris," Guzzo said. "You wouldn't put this thing on a lake much less New York Harbor."

Munglani was beyond relieved to see them.

"I owe them my life, I guess," he said. "The greatest guys I've ever met."

Now on stable ground, he said he's learned his lesson.
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