Brittany Catanzaro

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Brittany Catanzaro
Born 1989 (age 30–31)
Nationality USA
Occupation sailor
Known for commanded a vessel that rescued 20 people

Brittany Catanzaro is an American sailor.[1] She was the youngest individual appointed captain of a New York Waterways ferry, and the first woman appointed captain.[2] Catanzaro captained the Governor Thomas Kean, one of the vessels that responded to the emergency landing of US Airways flight 1549, on the Hudson River.[3] Catanzaro and her crew are credited with rescuing two dozen survivors.[4]

Following the rescue the United States Coast Guard honored Coast Guard personnel who had distinguished themselves.[5] Catanzaro is a member of the Coast Guard Reserve, and received a Meritorious Public Service Award.

Catanzaro's cool and efficient response to the emergency landing has been offered as an example the value of training for emergencies.[6]


  1. Thad Allen (2009-02-26). "A Great Day to be Commandant! -- Part Two -- Updated with Photos". iCommandant. Retrieved 2019-06-07. "At just 20 years old, Petty Officer Catanzaro has already attained her 100-ton license and is a New York Ferry Captain. She was serving in this capacity on the afternoon of the FLT 1549 crash and was one of the first vessels on scene, ultimately rescuing 26 people." 
  2. Steven Otfinoski (2019). Captain Sully's River Landing: The Hudson Hero of Flight 1549. Capstone Publishing. p. 78. ISBN 9781543542035. Retrieved 2019-06-07. 
  3. Beth Hughes (Spring 2009). "Friend of the Port – NY Waterway Rescue". Port of New York and New Jersey. Retrieved 2019-06-07. "Captain Manny Liba and his crew on the Moira Smith rescued 14 people. Captain Brittany Catanzaro on the Gov. Thomas Kean and her crew saved 24 people." 
  4. Larry King (2009-01-15). "Larry King: Aired January 15, 2009". Larry King Show.;jsessionid=E367A2E428E66236833C172AA53F097E?pid=25392. Retrieved 2019-06-07. 
  5. Janet Napolitano (2009-02-23). "Honoring Flight #1549". Department of Homeland Security. Retrieved 2019-06-07. "The rescue also reminds us of the importance of training and exercising before the fact. First responders at all levels must know what to do when it comes time to execute a mission – because seconds count. The successful rescue of Flight #1549 is a case in point." 
  6. Amy L. Fraher (2011). "Thinking Through Crisis: Improving Teamwork and Leadership in High-Risk Fields". Cambridge University Press. p. 141. ISBN 9781139498494. Retrieved 2019-06-07. "The ferry's 19-year-old [sic] Captain Brittany Catanzaro recalled, "You train so much, you don't have to think about it. I didn't have to give any orders to the crew." They simply made sense of what was happening and knew what to do."