Armaan Munglani
Armaan Munglani (CBS New York via YouTube)

A tourist from London who stepped onto a piece of plywood in the water off Jersey City in order to see the sunrise over Manhattan was swept away and had to be rescued by the FDNY.

Armaan Munglani, 19, told CBS New York he went to the Newport Yacht Club in Jersey City early on Thursday to watch the sunrise and stepped onto a small piece of plywood that looked like a dock which broke free. He said water gushed onto him and got his phone wet so he could not dial 911. “Eventually I just removed my shoes, put my knees under the thing, and tried to paddle my way back," Munglani told the station.

He eventually drifted 2 miles on the choppy waters of the Hudson River to New York Harbor near the Statue of Liberty. His phone dried enough for a 911 call and the FDNY dispatched two marine units to  rescue him. “This thing shouldn’t have been on a lake, let alone in the New York Harbor. It was incredibly unstable and he’s lucky to be alive," FDNY Captain Louis Guzzo said on the department's Facebook page.

"The Harbor is busy, even at night, and he didn’t come up on the radar. This could have ended badly. We positioned our 65-foot boat, the William M. Feehan, between the wind and the waves, using it was a shield so Marine 1 could come up alongside the man without getting pushed around. They came in nice and easy, pulled him onto their boat, and let’s just say he was very excited to see us,” Guzzo said.

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