Saturday, January 16, 2010

Happy News - Miracle of Love on the Hudson

The couple that fell in love after surviving the Miracle on the Hudson plane crash

Fairy tale of New York: Laura Zych & Ben Bostic were both on board the plane which crash landed in the Hudson on January 15 last year

It has been one year ago this week that we witnessed one of the most miraculous escapes in aviation history and there have been several human-interest stories in the media. This is my favorite.

For Ben Bostic and Laura Zych, surviving a plane crash into the Hudson River in New York was also the beginning of an extraordinary love story.

The pair both boarded doomed flight US Airways 1549 at the city's LaGuardia Airport on January 15 last year.

Ben, 39, remembers catching a glimpse of his future girlfriend and hoping that she would sit by him. Instead, she had a reservation several rows away.

'I would have totally forgotten about it, if it weren't for the things that happened.' Ben said.

What happened next, of course, was the event dubbed the Miracle on the Hudson.

Just minutes after take-off, Laura and Ben's flight collided with a flock of geese, sending the plane plummeting towards the ground.

Captain Chesley Sullenberger engineered a spectacular landing and brought the craft down smoothly on the Hudson River. All 155 people on board clambered out on to the wings and were retrieved by a fleet of ferryboats and private craft, which had rushed to the scene.

But for Ben and Laura, 31, the very public events of January 15 2009 were the catalyst for a far more personal miracle.

'I wake up everyday and say, "My God. I'm living a fairy tale,"' Ben said.

The couple was not formally introduced until six months after the crash when they both attended a party to mark the anniversary.

‘A passenger I knew was standing by Ben,' Laura said. 'He said. "Laura, have you met Ben?” I replied: "No."

'Ben said: "I haven't met Laura but I was checking her out on the plane."'

Ben eventually left to go to a party at his sister's house - but Laura persuaded him to come back and then invited him to stay at her house, as it was too late for him to go home.

They sat talking on her porch until 6am. Ben, a software developer, was due to be in work at 8 a.m. 'I didn't care!' he said. 'At that time, that's exactly what I wanted to do.'

He described the decision to return to the party as 'one of the best decisions I'd ever make.' 'I could see myself having this much fun with her 20 years from now,' he added.

The couple still regularly meets up with other crash survivors, many suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, who have dubbed themselves the Flight 1549 group.


Can you imagine them, one day, telling their grandchildren the story of how they met?

Here is artist Rex Babin's depiction of the Miracle on the Hudson.

All 155 people on board flight 1549 escaped alive after Captain Chesley Sullenberger brought the plane down in the Hudson River

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