John D. McKean Fireboat Preservation Project | Maurice D. Hinchey Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area


The 2024 Hudson River Valley Ramble will occur on August 31st and every day in September. Event leaders will be able to submit events in Spring. If you have questions about hosting an event for the Ramble, please email

Stay up to date, by signing up for our newsletter.

John D. McKean Fireboat Preservation Project


Panco's Stony Point Boat Dock
23 Grassy Point Rd.
Stony Point, NY 10980

41.225052 -73.965234

County: Rockland
Region: Lower Hudson


  • September 14, 2024, 12:00PM
    • Rain Date: September 15, 2024, 12:00AM
  • September 21, 2024, 12:00PM
    • Rain Date: September 22, 2024, 12:00PM
Detailed Times/Hours 12:00 - 5:00 pm.


Event Type Historic Site Tour/History Description The Fireboat John D. McKean played a critical role in the maritime evacuation from Manhattan Island following the World Trade Center attacks of 2001. With remarkable resourcefulness and ingenuity, mariners aboard an array of different vessels, including Fireboat John D. McKean, saved an untold number of lives and transported nearly half a million otherwise stranded people off the island in an entirely unplanned evacuation. This was the largest-ever boat lift in history, moving more people, more quickly than even the world-famous evacuation by the “Little Ships of Dunkirk” in 1940. The vessels’ crews that day displayed not only compassion, but also creative problem-solving and community solidarity, using the tools, skills, and ingenuity at their disposal to turn a deadly, chaotic situation into an efficient and successful rescue operation. On that day, McKean’s FDNY Marine Division crew first used the vessel’s massive deck capacity to transport people, many seriously injured, from the debris clouds to safer shores in New Jersey. Then, after watching the collapse of the second tower that killed so many fellow firefighters, they returned to the site to stretch hose lines and pump Hudson River water—the saltwater that would become the only firefighting water available once all hydrants got buried in the rubble. Recognizing the role that Fireboat John D. McKean played in this landmark boat lift is critical to ensuring that we, and future generations, never forget all the heroic rescue efforts of that day—even those made on the water. Preserving this physical treasure—an emblem of our history—will allow people to set foot on the same steel as those who took brave and selfless action to help others in the face of unthinkable horror. We owe our children the chance to walk, literally, in these mariners’ footsteps—to help them remember that each of us has the capacity to choose generosity and goodness amid disaster. Future generations, too easily removed from the awful stories of that day, need this vessel as evidence of the compassion, solidarity, and humanity that invariably rises up in the face of terror. Organization Hosting the Event The Fireboat McKean Preservation Project, Inc. Phone Number 9148198792


Advance registration required.
The registration deadline is 24 hours prior to the listed tour. Please contact: David Rocco

Additional Information

Additional Equipment Required: non slip shoes

Event Duration (hours): 5 hours
This event is NOT Suitable for children under: 6 years old

Family Friendly: Yes
Barrier Free or Wheelchar accessible? No
Share This Page: