Dave Sanderson was the last passenger off the plane. When US Airways Flight 1549 made a forced landing into the Hudson River between Manhattan and New Jersey, Dave risked his life to help others escape.
On that fateful day on Jan. 15, 2009, all 155 people aboard miraculously survived. That event became known as the “Miracle on the Hudson.”
After making sure others were safely out of the plane, Dave jumped into the frigid waters and swam to the nearest rescue boat. He credits the Red Cross with helping to save his life because of the swimming lessons he’d taken as a boy.
“When we got to shore,” Dave says, “there were three people waiting for me – two EMTs and a guy from the American Red Cross.” The Red Cross was there providing blankets and other support. Dave also remembers that “in the middle of the night, someone from the Red Cross went out and got me some sweats so I’d have something to wear in the morning.”
Meanwhile, back in North Carolina, the Red Cross reached out to support Dave’s anxious family. Dave says, “They were there taking care of my family. In a span of 14 hours I had three Red Cross experiences. The most important one was the Red Cross taking care of my family. That’s why I now speak for the Red Cross.”
This spring Dave will share his story as the keynote speaker at two major Red Cross events in Western Missouri. Tickets are available for the centennial celebrations of these two Red Cross chapters:
American Red Cross of Southern Missouri
“Centennial of Service”
May 16, 2017
American Red Cross of Northwest Missouri
St. Joseph, Missouri
“Heroes for the American Red Cross”
May 18, 2017
Dave reminds people, “The Red Cross takes people who are suffering, whether it’s from a fire, a tornado, a hurricane or even a military situation. They help people get through it. People have hope that life will be better because of the Red Cross.”