The Great Boatlift of 9/11

In the 13 years since the September 11 attacks, you’ve no doubt heard countless stories of individual selflessness and sacrifice from that day. On this 9/11 anniversary, we’d like to share a story that may have escaped your notice over these years, despite the fact that it is epic in scale.

The Great Boatlift of 9/11 in Action

This 11-minute, Tom Hanks-narrated short documentary tells the tale of the Great Boatlift of 9/11, in which hundreds of vessels—ferries, tugboats, party boats, yachts, private vessels, tour boats—rapidly descended on Manhattan to help enormous crowds of stranded people leave the island. It was a remarkable demonstration of humanity’s better instincts—and of spontaneous order. With no prior planning, this huge array of vessels rapidly organized itself into what would become the largest sea evacuation in history—even larger than the evacuation of Dunkirk in World War II—transporting nearly half a million desperate people in just about nine hours.

The determination of the boat captains and crew to do the right thing is heart-warming, and their words should serve as inspiration to those who are determined to overcome both hidden agendas and obvious dishonesty to someday deliver all the facts of 9/11 to the nation and the world.

ROBIN JONES“Average people, they stepped up when they needed to. They showed me when the American people need to come together and pull together, they will do it.”                        

Robin Jones, Engineer, Mary Gellatly


“I have one theory in life: I never want to say the words ‘I should have.’ If I do it and I fail, I tried.”

Vincent Ardolino, Captain, Amberjack V


Brian McGlinchey’s journalism has moved to a Substack newsletter—Stark Realities with Brian McGlinchey:

One thought on “The Great Boatlift of 9/11

  1. My 1st Cousin worked in the WTC, but hjs wife went into labor that day so he was not at work!!
    I am grateful for people who GIVE of themselves in this manner!!

    THANK YOU, Mr. Ardolino, THANK YOU!!


Share your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.