Probably preaching to the choir talking to the folks who post and read here but please make sure your boat is checked out on land BEFORE you launch!
Took a ride down to HH this am on the way shopping with the wife and wound up in a 2 hour rescue of three gentlemen in an older boat, about a 20 footer, I/O cuddy dead in the water just up river from the launch.
On the way out I noticed them up in the shallows north of the gravel patch where we used to hand launch (30 years ago), never a good place for a large boat.
Turned around and went back, got out the binoculars and saw they had one guy over the side, waist deep holding the boat against the wind (on shore gusts to 30) and incoming tide with whitecaps. Another making trips back and forth from the helm to the engine compartment.
Walked around the shoreline to see if they needed help. The guy in the 44 degree water looked a bit whipped, finally got someone on board to talk to me to see if they had help coming, or at least a phone on board and one of the older gents on board finally asked me to call 911.
Made the call and went back to the launch to see if any boats were around. Found one boat just taking off down river and asked a guy on shore waiting for him to come back to see if he thought he could help with a tow.
Saw several other boats pass by down river ignoring or not noticing the boat in trouble. True, the captain did not get out his distress flag until I got back to them and let them know I had help coming.
Great and full response from Bethlehem PD and Selkirk volunteers EMT, rescue boat, ambulance, the whole 9. Probably under 15 minutes by which time the fellows from the boat launch brought their boat up and we managed to get the dead boat hooked up and on the way to the launch. Had to push the cuddy off the gravel and they left the poor guy in the water behind.
We got him, barefoot in soaked jeans off the beach and up into the gravel lot and to the ambulance where they checked him out and warmed him up.
They had an inadequate anchor for the boat (a light Danforth), no alternative power, even a Minn Kota would have helped, no cell phone (hard to believe in this day and age) and it appeared that they chose not only the Hudson River but a very windy, whitecapped heavy tide day on the Hudson to "check out the boat". Not a bunch of good decisions. The motor started and got them just far enough to get them in trouble.
The guy in the water who looked to be late 40's to 50 told me it was his fathers boat and this was the first time he had been in it! Welcome to boating on the Hudson River!
And thanks to the young man (you may see him fishing from his kayak on the Hudson at HH) who helped with the process.