This an excellent in depth article for anyone, especially newbies and a good reminder for ancient mariners, who paddles around an active harbor or even a quiet boat launch. The 8 minute video at the end is worth a watch too. And it is from paddling.com too!
thanks for the post. I would not paddle there.
I remember that incident very well. It happened just a couple of days after my wife and I had been out in New York harbour paddling around the Statue of Liberty. We set out from Liberty State Park in New Jersey which is much quieter than the Hudson waterfront, and we were with an experienced guide who had done this hundreds of times and he knew all the channels and crossing points very well.
Obviously, mistakes were made by the ferry and the paddlers, and the setting sun had a lot to do with it. While it must have been very scary for the paddlers a rate of 1 incident in 100,000 kayak outings per year in NYC (and I haven’t heard of anything in the 4 years since) is pretty good odds.