The Brave Men Behind Pier 13’s Big Pink Duck Rescue

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It was a 90-degree day in Hoboken on May 3rd, so of course a ton of people were on Pier 13 {which just opened for the season on May 1st} — enjoying the sunny weather with sangrias in hand. Besides the regular fun, pier-goers had a new friend joining them for the season: a two-story inflatable pink duck. In the midst of enjoying some Amanda’s Bananas and rum buckets, there was a storm cloud that rolled in rather quickly. The sky got dark, the rain started falling, and the wind picked up — picked up the duck, that is. Pier 13’s mascot was suddenly tumbling down the Hudson River, downstream into the dark waters. The fiasco was captured by Instagrammers both uptown and downtown in the Mile Square and even across the Hudson, leaving many to wonder, how will she ever be saved?

Lucky for BPD {that’s Big Pink Duck for short}, two very brave men came to her rescue in a boat and pulled her to safety during the torrential downpours. But who are these brave men behind the BPD rescue? Lucky for you, we’ve got the scoop on these two courageous souls, so read on to see how it all went down:

pier 13 duck rescue

Disclaimer: the over-exaggerated descriptions throughout this post are intentional 😉 DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME OR ON THE PIER. Happy Friday!

The Series of Events {or should we say #DuckTales}:

The sun was shining, there was barely a breeze, and Pier 13’s giant duck was ready for a fun thirsty Thursday ahead until….

pier 13 hoboken duck rescue @thrillz_p13r

Photo: @thrillz_p13r on Instagram

….the wind picked up and the duck started flying down the Hudson, towards downtown Hoboken. As the clouds turned dark and the rain came down, patrons screamed and scattered, fleeing from the rain and the drama that ensued. 

pier 13 duck rescue

Photos: Vanessa Checchio

pier 13 duck rescue

pier 13 duck rescue

While everyone ran away from the scene, two brave men decided to take matters into their own hands. Pier 13 managers Rob Doran and Travis Conway held the team together and did what only what true heroes would do to save a two-story pink duck in a thunderstorm. {Not the safest idea, we know. Please DO NOT try this at home OR on the pier.}

pier 13 duck rescue

Photo: Casey Repetti

The two hopped into a 30-foot boat {not to be confused with a kayak}, and headed out to sea {AKA the Hudson River} where the big pink duck was stranded. Onlookers from both sides of the Hudson watched in horror and amazement as the two rescued their 30-foot tall friend from the dangerous seas {literally, readers were reaching out from both Hoboken + NYC to share their photos or should we say “duck pics” [one vowel different and it’d be a very different story] — so needless to say, it was quite the scene IRL and on social media}.

Just as the duck made its way to Sinatra Park, she was rescued by Rob + Travis:

pier 13 duck rescue

Picture the scene, complete with lyrics “I’m coming home…” a la P Diddy.

pier 13 rescue hoboken

Doran, when explaining how the event went down, shared with us: “Not all heroes wear capes — some serve delicious cocktails in coconuts but when the moment hits, you get on a boat, and you fly down the Hudson River, and you bring that duck home.” Now that’s what you call a dedicated employee.

BPD is now home safe at the pier, and clearly now realizes that floating down the river is not all it’s quacked up to be. {Sorry, had to.} All jokes aside, the Pier 13 team also shared exclusively with Hoboken Girl that they may be hosting photo ops with BPD at $10 a pop — and donating the proceeds to an animal rescue.

Well, there you have it. You either heard about it, saw it in person, or saw the ridiculous Insta stories, but now you know how it really went down, and about the heroes behind the rescue. BPD, we hope there are better days ahead for you, and we will be sure to show you some extra love at our next Pier 13 outing. I think we’ve all felt like the pink duck at least once before, after a long day of drinking at the pier.

Were you there to experience the duck drama? Share your photos and videos with us @HobokenGirlBlog + #HobokenGirl on Instagram!

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Written by:

Jen is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of HobokenGirl.com. With deep entrepreneurial roots in Hudson County — as her grandparents owned textile businesses on Tonnelle Ave in North Bergen dating back to the 50s — she started the site as a Hoboken resident to discover the amazing things happening in the area. When not planning the next Hoboken Girl event or #HobokenGirlHelps volunteer project, she can usually be found shopping at local boutiques, eating an Insta-worthy meal, walking her two pups, or watching Bravo TV and ordering takeout with her husband.


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