Captain of tourist ferries shifted gears after Sandy to help New Jersey residents get to work

Superstorm Sandy wiped out most commuter travel into New York City 10 years ago. News 12 New Jersey’s Lauren Due spoke to a captain of tourist ferries who shifted gears to help fellow New Jersey residents get to work.

News 12 Staff

Oct 26, 2022, 9:24 AM

Updated 626 days ago

Share:

Superstorm Sandy wiped out most commuter travel into New York City 10 years ago. News 12 New Jersey’s Lauren Due spoke to a captain of tourist ferries who shifted gears to help fellow New Jersey residents get to work.
Ten years ago, the Holland and Lincoln tunnels were damaged. PATH trains and New Jersey Transit were down.
Captain Matt Gill decided to take his boats up the Hudson River past Poughkeepsie. When he came back, the boats weren't used to visit Ellis Island or the Statue of Liberty anymore.
Gill's friendly welcome to a tourist attraction became -- Welcome to NYC, have a great day at work.
“It was crazy, it was wild time, but we got through it and it's a memory now,” says Gill. “It's hard to believe it's 10 years ago. But here we are.”
Hours before Sandy hit, he led nine boats 95 miles up the Hudson River to keep them safe, and on the ships were two captains and four crew members each all riding out the storm on a boat for 42 hours
“The captain I was with lost his house,” says Gill. “He had found out his house washed away. He had a house in Breezy Point. And that was the duality of our concerns. Yeah, what's going on at home. But if we don't protect our livelihood, we won't have a job either.”
They came back to a flooded and destroyed harbor.
“The ocean came to us,” says Gill. “This entire dock that you are looking at here was gone, ruined. There were many boats in Jersey City in the Science Center parking lot. The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island were in bad shape.”
They worked from a makeshift office; it also was on a boat. They later realized by doing this they helped others keep their jobs as well.
“We took people from Jersey City into Manhattan so they could carry on with their workday,” says Gill. “I think we are a little bit equipped for that now. The pandemic taught us how to work from home. That wasn't an option in 2012.”
Back then, Gill had two twin boys that he left at home that night. The boys celebrated Halloween a few days later as Super Mario brothers. Connor and Colin are now 11 and think their dad is a superhero.


More from News 12
2:00
Former President Trump safe, doing OK after gunfire at rally

Former President Trump safe, doing OK after gunfire at rally

2:07
HEAT ALERT: Sunny, hot and humid Sunday in New Jersey

HEAT ALERT: Sunny, hot and humid Sunday in New Jersey

1:46
Security heighted at Trump Tower in aftermath of rally shooting

Security heighted at Trump Tower in aftermath of rally shooting

2:27
Political analyst weighs in on gun violence in wake of Trump rally shooting

Political analyst weighs in on gun violence in wake of Trump rally shooting

1:29
Expert: Security will be a high level concern at presidential events in wake of Trump rally shooting

Expert: Security will be a high level concern at presidential events in wake of Trump rally shooting

1:34
Political analyst: Shooting at Trump rally will bring changes to 2024 Presidential Election

Political analyst: Shooting at Trump rally will bring changes to 2024 Presidential Election

1:36
Official: 2 children, adult killed in West Orange house fire

Official: 2 children, adult killed in West Orange house fire

0:37
Police: Missing Connecticut teenager located in New Jersey

Police: Missing Connecticut teenager located in New Jersey

0:18
Hillsborough police: Man burned in homemade firework explosion

Hillsborough police: Man burned in homemade firework explosion

0:46
Police: Shooting, 2 stabbings reported within 6 hours earlier this week in Atlantic City

Police: Shooting, 2 stabbings reported within 6 hours earlier this week in Atlantic City

0:21
Prosecutor: East Hanover man sentenced to 15 years in prison for killing wife

Prosecutor: East Hanover man sentenced to 15 years in prison for killing wife

1:57
Stop & Shop to close 10 ‘underperforming’ locations across New Jersey

Stop & Shop to close 10 ‘underperforming’ locations across New Jersey

1:45
Police: Driver faces charges for striking man in hit-and-run road rage incident in Fair Lawn

Police: Driver faces charges for striking man in hit-and-run road rage incident in Fair Lawn

1:52
AT&T security breach hits nearly all cellular customers and landline accounts

AT&T security breach hits nearly all cellular customers and landline accounts

1:16
Prosecutor: Bergen County pastor charged with 21 counts of sexual offenses against teen

Prosecutor: Bergen County pastor charged with 21 counts of sexual offenses against teen

3:06
Jury ends first day of deliberations in Sen. Bob Menendez's corruption trial without a verdict

Jury ends first day of deliberations in Sen. Bob Menendez's corruption trial without a verdict

0:33
Jersey Proud: Jamesburg police ‘ticket’ children performing good deeds

Jersey Proud: Jamesburg police ‘ticket’ children performing good deeds

0:47
Point Pleasant Beach officials at odds with company over 5G cell towers

Point Pleasant Beach officials at odds with company over 5G cell towers

1:41
Heavy rain causes flooding in parts of southern New Jersey

Heavy rain causes flooding in parts of southern New Jersey

2:21
Ruptured pipe causes raw sewage to pour into Red Bank storm drains

Ruptured pipe causes raw sewage to pour into Red Bank storm drains