NU Online News Service, June 24, 12:05 p.m. EDT
NEW YORK--Lloyd's of London presented its Gold Medal for Saving Life last night to Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger III for safely landing his U.S. Airways passenger jet in the Hudson River Jan. 15 after a bird strike caused engines to stall.
Lord Peter Levene, chair of Lloyd's, introduced the guest of honor at the annual Lloyd's New York City Dinner with words of praise for Capt. Sullenberger's "risk management skills, selflessness, sound judgment and bravery" in landing Flight 1549 safely and saving all 155 on board.
However, he added a sobering observation. "We are grateful for this 'miracle on the Hudson,'" he said, "while mindful that had the plane come down 400 yards to the left or to the right, we could have been facing another 9/11-type catastrophe."
The medal was presented by Prince Andrew, the Duke of York and a fellow pilot who flew in the Falklands War. Prince Andrew serves as the United Kingdom's special representative for international trade and investment.
Capt. Sullenberger said he would "gratefully accept this deep honor on behalf of my crew, my passengers and all the first-responders who performed so admirably and courageously during the evacuation that day."