A man visiting from London got an unexpected early-morning view of the Manhattan skyline from New York Harbor, when he stepped on a floating dock that broke away from the Jersey City waterfront.

The Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) showed up two hours into the hapless tourist’s drift across the harbor, when Marine Units 1 and 6 found him and made the pickup near Governor’s Island.

Armaan Raj Munglani, 19, told the New York Daily News he was taking a walk in Jersey City around 4:45 a.m. on June 9 when he stepped on the float near the Newport Yacht Club and Marina. The platform slipped free from the bulkhead, taking Munglani with it.

Shouting for help to no avail, his cell phone wet and out of commission, Munglani watched helplessly as he floated on the tide past the harbor’s barges, ferries and other traffic. At one point, Munglani said, he pulled out his pocket journal and began penning a farewell message to his family.

But then he tried the cell phone once more, and was able to connect with a 911 emergency operator. The FDNY fireboats were dispatched to look for him in an operation coordinated by Capt. Louis Guzzo.

When Munglani saw the fireboats, he activated his cell phone flashlight and began signaling, enabling the crews to get a visual fix on what they thought was floating debris, Guzzo told the Daily News.

In windy, choppy conditions, the department’s newest boat, the Metal Craft-built 66’x18’x3’5” William M. Feehan of Marine Unit 6, blocked the wind and waves as Unit 1 slipped in with a smaller boat to make the pickup. Unhurt, Munglani was taken back across the harbor to Jersey City.

Contributing Editor Kirk Moore was a reporter for the Asbury Park Press for over 30 years before joining WorkBoat in 2015. He wrote several award-winning stories on marine, environmental, coastal and military issues that helped drive federal and state government policy changes. He has also been an editor for WorkBoat’s sister publication, National Fisherman, for over 25 years. Moore was awarded the Online News Association 2011 Knight Award for Public Service for the “Barnegat Bay Under Stress,” 2010 series that led to the New Jersey state government’s restoration plan. He lives in West Creek, N.J.