NY1 VIDEO: As NY1 revisits its 20-year history, the station looks back at reporter Carol Anne Riddell's June 6, 1993 coverage as a freighter carrying hundreds of illegal Chinese immigrants ran aground - sending passengers streaming into the frigid waters off of the Rockaways. A massive rescue operation was launched to bring them to safety - though 10 lives were ultimately lost.
NY1 FOLLOW-UP: Attorneys who represented some of the survivors say more than 100 were either deported or voluntarily returned to China. Another 50 were granted asylum or citizenship. The fate of many of the others remains unknown - although around 30 are still believed to be living in legal limbo in the United States. They were released from jail in 1997, but have yet to be granted permanent legal residence. Among those charged in connection with the freighter crash - the most prominent was Cheng Chui Ping - better known as Sister Ping. Prosecutors described her as one of the most powerful and successful human smugglers of our time. She was arrested in Hong Kong in 2000 - and sentenced to 35 years in prison after a trial in Manhattan federal court.