9/11 Boatlift: The Largest Marine Evacuation in History

If it floated, it was needed. Half a million New Yorkers were rescued by a Coast Guard-led fleet of tugboats and yachts. When disaster strikes, ordinary Americans help fellow citizens.

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Way back in 1776, George Washington found himself in the midst of the Battle of Long Island against 32,000 British troops.

Unfortunately for the future first president of the United States and his men, it was a fight they would not win. As the assault wore on, the British began to make their final move, hoping to surround the remaining 9,000 colonists.

Washington ordered his men, bruised and bloodied, into the water. A slow but steady evacuation began from Long Island to Manhattan, one rowboat at a time.