January 16, 2009

More on the Miracle

From today's Denver Post- the article about our friends' son and his girlfriend.

(In this photo taken by a ferry passenger, airline passengers leave the US Airways jet that safely ditched Thursday in the frigid waters of the Hudson River in New York. (AP, Janis Krums)

Karin Hill loves children.
So when US Airways Flight 1549 ditched in the Hudson River on Thursday afternoon, the 24-year-old Boulderite did what came naturally.
She asked another passenger on board — who had a baby and a toddler — if she could help by carrying the baby.
As they left the sinking plane, Hill carried the baby and then held the child as she stood on the wing awaiting rescue.
"She loves kids, so that seemed perfect for her to do," said her mother, Cathy Hill of Louisville.

Karin Hill and her boyfriend, Chris Rooney of Parker, had just spent a week in New York City on what Cathy Hill described as "a fun visit."

"She got some cheap tickets and stayed with friends. They were just back there sightseeing and having fun," said Cathy Hill.
They were flying to Charlotte, N.C., where they planned to change planes and fly back to Denver.

After the plane hit a flock of birds, pilot Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger III came over the intercom and told them to "prepare for impact," Karin Hill told her mother.

"She put her head in her lap. But her boyfriend kept looking out the window. His father is a commercial pilot, and he kept looking to see what was going on," Cathy Hill said laughing.
"Karin didn't know they were landing over water. She just thought, because they took that turn, that they were just coming back to the airport to land at the airport," Cathy Hill said. "Karin said she didn't know that but just kept praying that God would just land them smooth and easy. She said, 'I know God was watching out for us, Mom. I was just praying he would land us.' "

As they headed for the landing in the Hudson River, Karin Hill told her mother things were quiet in the cabin. "She said that everything was just really calm and cool. The pilot just said 'prepare for impact.' She didn't feel he was panicked in his voice or anything. And I am sure that kept them all calm."

Both Karin and her boyfriend were among the last people off the wing. By the time they left, the water had risen to her waist, said Cathy Hill.

"I asked her, 'Did you go check for hypothermia?' And she said, 'No, I didn't.' Once they got her over — by ferry — to a restaurant, apparently they got her out of her own clothes and got her into the chef's clothes," said Cathy Hill.

Karin phoned her father within 40 minutes of the ditching, but he didn't pick up because he didn't recognize the phone number.
Later, when he checked the message, he immediately left work, picked up his wife and they went home and turned on the TV.
On their home answering machine was another call from Karin.
"She said she and her boyfriend were fine and she would call as soon as she could again," said Cathy Hill. Since then, they've talked five or six times.

"She is just a little fireball, just optimistic and bubbly," said Cathy Hill of her daughter. "She was in good spirits. She was shaken up obviously and probably in shock to some degree, but she just kept saying, 'I'm OK.' "

Cathy Hill said Karin's two sisters and brother — ranging in age from 17 to 25 — are just "thrilled" their sister is safe.
"They will be home tomorrow morning, and we are all going to meet up at the airport and go over to his (the boyfriend's) home. They said we could bring all our friends — that 'we'll tell the story once,' " said Cathy Hill.

"Our whole family really attributes this to the grace of God. He protected her and the plane and everyone. We all feel that way. We are just really grateful," said Cathy Hill.
Howard Pankratz: 303-954-1939 or hpankratz@denverpost.com


Spokker said...

Don't thank God, thank the pilot.

God didn't land this plane just like he didn't land the plane of all the countless plane crashes where no one survived.

Mark Taft said...

Have to agree to thank the pilot, but I believe God gives each man and woman the abilities each has. Also, yes, He is ultimately in control and allows what He will, not creating disaster or evil but somehow using it for eteranl purposes. So, yes, I thank God for saving my friends- through the skills of an incredible pilot!