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tv   Caught on Camera  MSNBC  June 24, 2012 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT

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i hit the ground like a meteorite. >> they're pushing the limits. >> nobody on knows what happens when you fall from 180 feet. >> climbing higher. speeding faster. >> everybody move. >> and falling further. >> oh, my. >> never turning down a challenge. >> the whole crowd was into it. everyone was egging me on. >> they take on the unknown. >> oh, my god. come on, buddy. >> and disaster is never far away. >> one of the problems in setting records is you know you're going to experience things that other people have
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not. >> oh, we have an accident. "caught on camera full throttle." hello, i'm contessa brewer. hello i'm contessa brewer. welcome for "caught on camera." remember when your mother said if at first you don't succeed, try, try again. we're not sure what your mother would say about the people in this next hour. they take that to hearty, even if it means breaking bones along the way. as you watch their spectacular feats, remember, do not try this at home. not that you could, even if you wanted to. a high-flying bmx rider crashes to the earth. ouch. >> in my opinion, bmx is just as dangerous as what evel knievel was doing. >> steve crandall should know.
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he's been part of this strange bmx culture since he was a kid. he owns a bike company and has been to hundreds of unofficial stunt events held in back allies and parking lots. >> bmxers in general are pretty subversive. it's an underground culture, a lot of outcasts, misfits, hell raisers and good time havers. >> thank you all for coming out. we'll run this at 4:00 exactly. >> today steve's in richmond, virginia, seeing a jumping competition over an unusual but tasty obstacle. >> we're going to run over the world's biggest plate of delicious tacos. >> as the riders demonstrate their skills above a giant bowl of tortilla chips it becomes
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clear that, like nachos, riders get chewed up fast. the stunts are amazing, but so are the crashes. >> oh! >> today's riding was probably some of the most world class that you'll see in a back street parking lot. over a plate of nachos that probably will ever exist in the bmx, or humanity in general. >> the nachos event may seem like nuts, but it's light fare compared to the bonedeath competition. >> we're riding in a swamp on some garbage. >> the scene in new bedford was probably one of the weirdest scenes i have ever witnessed, a course basically built in between two buildings, build on a swamp. >> bmx rider paul herrane built it. >> it started out as a bet. have everybody throw money into a hat and say, hey, look, you
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want something you want to do and you think it's worth a prize, you do it, and i'll tell you your reward. it got everyone to push themselves. >> they had riders jumping off ledges, riding down rails, riding across like 2 by 6s. they went so far as to have dead animals on the landings. >> one of the daredevil riders who sticks out is matt plassman. he decides he wants to attempt the biggest most difficult jump in the competition. a ten-foot high leap over the two septic tanks known as the holy roller. >> we were talking about it since that morning as a joke. i didn't actually think somebody would literally try it. >> paul should have known.
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in the bmx world, if you build it, apparently they will jump. >> the whole crowd was really into it. and they were like chanting "bonedeath." egging me on. >> matt charges down the makeshift runway. >> when i saw matt pedaling, i was a bit concerned? >> concerned? not a word you hear often among these events, but steve was right to be concerned. matt falls short of the landing and crashes to the ground. steve interviews him just moments later. >> what just happened? >> i try to do jump the holy roller and bounces off the roller on my face. it was fun.
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>> in fact, matt had so much fun, he wants to try the stunt again. >> the first attempt was scary enough to watch him bounce off it, let alone to tell me he wanted to do it again. >> i had the urge to go for it again to see how far i could get. maybe if i push harder this time i'll have just enough to get over it. >> he gave it a little more force, straightened out a couple more pieces of plywood and pedalled full throttle and went at it. >> it's not enough. >> he bounced his hid off the tank, and down hit himself again. >> this time he doesn't jump to his feet. >> he wasn't moving. he was hurt and hurt bad. someone called the paramedics. >> matt has a concussion and is taken to the hospital, but he doesn't seem much worse for the
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wear. >> i wasn't in a coma or nothing. within the next week i probably hopped on my bike and just went riding. >> matt's fellow bmx riders didn't even realize he went to the hospital. >> i don't know if he went with the ambulance or not. i think he turned them down. i think he went and got some food. >> he probably just went to, like, duncan doughnuts an got a bunch of munchkins. >> or perhaps he went looking for nachos. after all bmxers are drawn to that flavor, spice, variety and let's not forget the crunch. >> you always laugh when your friends fall. what's playful is you're going to fall eventually. what gets me is you could fall 100 times, but the second you land that trick, it's completely worth it. coming up -- >> dude, let's do this thing, man. >> -- a kayaker takes the
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plunge. but is he diving towards disaster? >> come on, buddy, where are you at? and out of control, a racer is dragged by his runaway bike. when "caught on camera full throttle" continues. welcome aboard! [ chuckles ] ♪ [ honk! ] ♪ [ honk! ] ♪ [ honk! ] ♪ [ male announcer ] now you'll know when to stop. [ honk! ] the all-new nissan altima with easy fill tire alert.
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a kayaker plunges over an enormous waterfall on purpose. >> holy [ muted ]. >> and disappears into the foaming water below. >> oh, my god. come on, buddy. >> it takes a certain type of person with a certain threshold for danger to think going over a giant waterfall is a good idea, but such people do exist, and tyler bradt is one of them. >> my name is tyler bradt. i live in missoula, montana, and i'm a professional kayaker.
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>> this 23-year-old has been kayaking all his life and he's traveled the globe traveling rapid after churning rapid. >> what i've fallen in love with is the extreme side of kayaking. big drops and waterfalls. >> tyler paddled over his first waterfall at the age of 15, and has never looked back. >> i would say as an extreme kayaker i've probably run 100, 150-plus waterfalls. i've kind of lost count over the years. >> in september 2007, tyler came across alexandra falls in canada's northwest territories, far higher than any waterfall he had done before, 107 feet tall, and he decided to go for it. >> the feeling behind running that waterfall was a moment in time that i will remember forever.
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i surfaced upright without even flipping over off that waterfall. it was amazing. >> the ride over alexandra falls didn't just give him an adrenaline rush, but the world record for the highest waterfall anyone had kayaked over. nobody could successfully paddle out of a bigger drop, nobody else but him, that is. in the spring of 2009, tyler comes across palouse falls in washington state, just five hours' drive from his hometown. >> a picture perfect waterfall. it was a neat thing to have spent my entire life traveling the world looking for rivers and waterfalls and find the most beautiful, biggest waterfall i have ever seen right here in my backyard. >> picture perfect maybe, this is where most people would snap a photograph, and leave it at
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that. but he left the falls with a nagging feeling and comes back to look at it again and again. >> we're standing here at palouse falls. this is my third time. it's like 160, 180 feet tall, which is a little wild. nobody has come remotely close to running something this big. nobody knows what happens when you fall from 180 feet, so definitely makes you scared for sure. >> tyler and his kayaking partner russ sturgis go out to check conditions at the lip of the waterfall. >> dude, the level seems absolutely perfect. i love the look of the
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right-hand side slip. there's nothing that says no, except for the fact that it's a little high. >> nothing that says no? tyler has a different take on waterfalls than your average sightseer. >> dude, let's do this thing, man. i think this needs to happen. >> tyler and russ call in their support team. it looks like tomorrow will be the big day. >> in doing something like palouse falls, you can't practice for it in any other way than mentally preparing, running it over and over in my head. >> maybe so. but there's a big difference between visualizing going over a waterfall and actually doing it. the next day the safety team takes their places. two kayakers wading in the pool, a rescuer ready to rappel down behind the waterfall, and another one on the shore with a lifeline.
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also video cameras to record what will happen. >> i was prepared to walk away from it. as it was, i decided that it was something that i wanted to do. so i gave the team the go ahead signal that things were happening. i got in my kayak. >> then he pushes off. >> approaches palouse, it's flat water, so i have time for conscious thought processes, am i making the right decision, which is a dangerous thing to be thinking when you're going off the waterfall. as soon as the water takes hold, your kayak begins to accelerate, everything goes away and you're simply focused on running the waterfall. >> tyler disappears into the mist, as his friends hold their breath. >> oh, my god. come on, buddy. >> come on. >> looking for any sign of him.
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>> come on, t.d., bud, where are you at? >> down by the right, in the shadows. >> he's made it. at the he emerges from the shadow behind his friends as boats, still in the kayak with only a broken paddle to show for the brutal plunge. >> the impact was incredibly violent. i have jackknifed out of my tuck, thrown against the back of my kayak, the wind was knocked off me. >> he later determined it was a record-smashing 186 feet tall, almost twice as high as alexandra falls. >> i'm very used to going over the lip, reaching free fall and landing, but i have experienced acceleration like i've never felt before. from a matter of seconds you go from being at the top to being at the bottom of the waterfall. it's an incredibly overwhelming experience.
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>> you might say the whole experience was completely over the top. so what's next for tyler? will he try to beat his new record? >> i don't envision myself running anything higher than palouse. but that's what i said after i ran alexandra, though. it's hard to tell what the future will hold, but i'm looking forward to finding that out and continuing my lifestyle as a kayaker, traveling the world and being ability to meet amazing people alongside incredible locations. coming up, a speeding motorcycle smashes to pieces. >> he crashed at probably 200 miles an hour. nothing moving out there. and are these guys flipping crazy? when "caught on camera: full throttle" continues. [ male announcer ] it isn't just your mammogram. it's your teenager's first varsity game. it isn't just your annual exam.
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hundreds of yards by a runaway bike.
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it's june 28th, 1998, legendary show stopper ron cook is to break the land speed record at murak drive lake in california. >> there was a little excitement in the air. we knew ron was going to go fast. >> videographer mark brazzo is at the starting line, there to catch what they thinks will be another history-making days for ron cook. he's smashed several records and rarely disappoints. >> i'm seen ron race before. he's very fast on a bike. his book is 200 miles an hour. kawasaki has a nitrous bottle on it. this thing is a market. >> mark watches as ron shoots down the path. it's only later he learns what happens next. ron moves up to fourth gear and
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hits the nitrous boost button. he's blasting at 175 miles per hour when his front wheel begins to wobble. ron struggles to regain control, but it's a losing battle. he makes a split second decision to abandon the bike, but as this terrifying video shows, his right legislate is caught under the seats pulling him at almost 200 miles an hour in the dusty surface. >> it dragged him like a horse would drag a cowboy. >> the friction of his body against the grounds burns through his protective suit. in another moment, it will tear his skin to shreds. somehow ron flips his body over and amazingly pulls free. as the bike speeds away, ron tumbles along the ground.
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it doesn't seem possible that he's not only survived the accident, he can stand up and has barely a scratch on him. >> i thanks the lord that i'm still here with minor injuries, not too bad. >> i saw him shortly after. he drove his pickup truck back to the start line. >> i do plan to run again. i still want the 200-mile-an-hour record. this is part of the game here and it's just a matter of time before you get in a wreck. >> you would think ron might have learned his lesson and given up racing, but only two weeks after his spectacular wipeout he's back at it, showing up at el mirage dry lake for another shot at the record. mark brazzo is there and isn't at all surprised to see ron.
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he's very successful, very fast. there was no way he was not getting back on that motorcycle. >> but ron has a new worry. track conditions don't look good. >> it's all broken up. i don't like riding in that loose stuff. it can get kind of squirly. track conditions would definitely be better. >> but ron is not about to back down. he's ready to get back on the bike and do what it is he does best -- break records. >> i've in a cautious state of mind, i've made changes, but there's still nervousness is. it always is after a crash, got to get back on the saddle and do it again. i'm optimistically conscious. >> mark is manning his camera midway down the track. >> i always want to make sure i get a shot of ron, because he is
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the fastest on two wheels. i heard over the radio that ron was taking off from the start line. i immediately grabbed my camera, and aimed. almost immediately he went into the high-speed wobble. >> mark's seen that wobble before. he knows what's coming. as the camera rolls, he hits the loose dirt on the track. instantly he flies through the air as the bike smashes to pieces. >> rider down, rider down. everybody move. >> he crashed at probably 200 miles an hour. there was quite a debris field. there was dust, motorcycle parts. it was difficult to see where he was. >> emts rushed to ron's side. eventual word comes back. incredibly ron has survived once again. >> i hit the ground just like a meteorite tumbling, tumbling. i felt like i was in a washing machine. all of a sudden everything was quiet. all i saw was a big blue sky and
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a big bright sun, laying on the ground on my back side looking up through my helmet going, hmm, maybe i'm in heaven now, maybe this all ended. >> lying on the ground he tests his limbs to see if they're still attached. >> got to my right leg it moved, but when i lifted you will the leg, the leg lifted up, but the foot stayed on the ground. >> he's broken five bones in his leg. he's also broken his right arm and has third and fourth degree burns over hi body from skidding across the hard surface. >> i went 588 feet. that's almost like two football fields tumbling and tumbling. i was amazed i could go that far and still come out alive. >> he has a new record but not the one he was aiming for. the entry is for survives the highest speed motorcycle crash. that record is good enough for ron cook. after a long period of recovery, he retires from racing.
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>> i survived two bad accidents. i should have died in both of them. maybe the third one will do me in. maybe my recovery took three years for a reason. maybe it made me slow down and say, you know what, son? you've done enough. coming up -- balancing on the brink. a high-wire walker steps into danger. and -- >> look at the penalty for failure, dude. >> a cliff top crumbles and a mountain biker tumbles. >> i thought i was watching him fall to his death. >> when "caught on camera: full throttle" continues. [ tires squeal, engine revs ] ♪ ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] not everything powerful has to guzzle fuel. the 2012 e-class bluetec from mercedes-benz.
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egypt's new president is calling for unity saying he carries a message of peace to the world. three crew members are still unaccounted for after two freight trains collided in
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oklahoma. the average price of a gallon of gas in the u.s. has dropped 15 cents over the past two weeks down to $3.48 a gallon. now back to "caught on camera." welcome back to "caught on camera." i'm contessa brewer. we're watching adventure seekers, but why do they do it? what makes them drive faster? climb higher, take bigger chances than the rest of us? our next has an interesting motivation that puts him on top of the world. christian skew is balancing on a cord attempting the highest slack line walk, when
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suddenly -- it's august 3rd, 2006, christian is atop kirad mountain in southwest norway. he's strung the nylon cord himself, testing each screw, and edging along the wire checking it inch by inch. his only protects if he falls will be a safety harness attached to the line. if the cord or screws break, christian will plunge to his death. >> translator: there are a lot of things that can go wrong. for example, you could have something sharp in your pockets that could cut the line. >> once christian has gone through the safety check, he begins psyching himself up. music gets him in the zone. it's hard to believe that anyone can relax perched so high above the rocky cliffs, but with his feet dangling like he's just sitting at the kitchen table, christian finds peace.
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he's ready. he edges along the rope to the other side of the ravine. christian climbs onto the line and struggles to find his balance. he's tried and failed this same walk before. so he knows how difficult it will be. >> translator: the first steps are some of the worst. the start is the most difficult. >> tentatively, he takes a few steps. he tumbles, instinctively clinging to the rope for safety. it's a scary reminder how easily this can go wrong. seemingly unshaken, christian appears to start again. unlike a tight rope, the slack
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line is loose. it bounces and swings as christian tries to balance. the line is flat, but only one inch thick. christian is 3,280 feet in the air, nearly three times the height of the empire state building. slowly, cautiously, breathing deeply, christian places one foot in front of the other, bridging the gulf step by step. as he reaches the halfway point, he starts singing to himself. a tiny voice in the vast canyon. seconds later -- >> woo-hoo! >> he's made it. >> yeah! >> immediately after the stunt, christian tries to explain why he took on the challenge. >> translator: we create
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contrast in our lives, so that for things to be really great, we must also experience hell. standing on that line is hell. it's damn good to come home and sit on the sofa and relax. >> be careful. oh. oh, no. a mountain biker plunges head over heels down a rocky cliff. >> it's a hard experience you think you see another human being in the process of dying. january 1st, 2004, chorizo gorge, southern california. for experienced cyclists, a new year's day trail ride has become an annual tradition. >> we try to do a big ride every new year's day to start the year off right. >> the helmet-mounted camera is recording. they've been riding for almost three hours when miles brakes abruptly. this section is crumbling along
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the edge, leaving just much inches to spare. >> look at the penalty for failure, dude. >> he decides to try riding over the area. >> where we stopped look scary to me. i walked on by. as i'm walking my bike over, i looked down over the edge and thought, holy crap, that's a big drop. >> as bill watches from the other side of the gap, another friend, eric, attempts the narrow trail. >> eric got up to sort of like the crux spot, the nastiest spot along the trail. >> he makes it, but barely. now it's miles' turn. he tries the same technique, but loses his balance. suddenly disaster. >> oh, [ muted ] oh, my. >> you see him fall for a while.
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you see him hit and bounce. he catches more air, going shoulder over shoulder. i thought i was watching miles fall to his death. >> after he plummets almost 150 feet over jagged rocks, his friends see him leap to his feet. >> are you all right? >> sit down, sit down. >> make sure you know everything is connected. >> miles scrambles back up the stony slope. >> i was wearing a helmet and a backpack, both of which i credit with saving my life. it was a big drop and very unforgiving terrain. my first thought was that's it, i'm going to die. i was so focused on trying to grab anything i could, that i guess i really wasn't thinking about how much it hurt.
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>> but miles will have plenty of time to feel exactly how much it hurt. once his makes it back to the path, he must bike in horrible pain back to the trailhead more than ten miles away. >> my right hand was broken, left wrist was very badly sprained. it also broke my glasses and i'm fairly nearsighted, so it was hard to see where i was going. but the plus side is that that movement kept me from going into shock. >> despite his close call, miles' tumble has not deterred him from mountain biking. why would it? like all these daredevils, he's back after it just six weeks later. he's riding in a 24-hour race in arizona. >> people have asked me if i learned anything from this. i say, no, i haven't. if i were faced with the same situation again, i would give it another shot. hopefully i would make it this time. coming up -- hydroplane racing is one twisted sport. >> you've got to remember that you're traveling at over a football field per second. when something happens, it's
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going to be big. and gigantic waves make for colossal wipeouts, when "caught on camera: full throttle" continues. hey. hey eddie. i brought your stuff. you don't have to do this. yes i do. i want you to keep this. it'd be weird. take care. you too. [ sighs ] so how did it go? he's upset. [ male announcer ] spend less time at gas stations. with best in class fuel economy. it's our most innovative altima ever. ♪ support team usa and show our olympic spirit right in our own backyard. so we combined our citi thankyou points to make it happen. tom chipped in 10,000 points. karen kicked in 20,000. and by pooling more thankyou points from folks all over town, we were able to watch team usa...
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so be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. so he's a success story... [ laughs ] he's my success story. [ male announcer ] learn how to protect your heart at i am proheart on facebook. hydroplanes, they're the fastest boats in the water, flying across the surface at 200 miles per hour. at this speed, when something goes wrong, disaster. >> in the blink of an eye, a piece of equipment fails or a
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driver makes a mistake, they could be 50 feet up in the air. >> at first glance, dave might look more like a banker than a daredevil, but he's been racing hydroplanes for years and been in some pretty dramatic crashes. >> you're travels at over a football field per second. so if you aren't anticipating what what's going to happen, you're likely to crash. >> they flip through the air as if they weigh nothing, but these boats are 30 feet long, 7,000 pounds with 4,000 horsepower engine. >> it's a celebration of excess. everything about it is bigger and badder and more extensive than you could possibly imagine. >> dave says imagine driving your car at 200 miles an hour
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without springs or shocks. that's what it feels like to ride this thing. >> the environment of looking from the outside of a hydroplane, it likes wonderful, graceful vehicle that flying over the water. the truth is the boat is actually beating the not out of driver that's inside. >> david fell in love with racing boats as a teenager. while most kids his age were out riding bicycles. >> i started out racing flat-bottom boats, because that's what my uncle had done. >> dave, good-bye. >> and it was a lot of fun, and it progressed into bigger flat-bottom boats, managed to set a lot of world records and win a lot of championships. >> from there, of course, it was a step to racing hydroplanes. dave soon breaking almost every record in the book. in 2004, he decides to see just how fast he can drive his legendary hydroplane, miss
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budweiser and tries for the speed record. >> we'll be racing against time and mother nature. we'll see what we're made of. >> dave doesn't let his nerves show. >> one of the problems in setting records is you know you're going to experience things that other people have not. >> everyone pay attention, the course is live. >> the speed is calculated by averaging the time over two one-kilometer runs. >> 9.83. >> the speed to beat is 198 miles per hour. dave is buckled in and hits the gas. >> here he comes. >> 213.437 miles an hour. >> he's on record pace over the first leg. for the second leg, he gives it everything he's got. >> 225. >> 225. 30 -- >> he's out of it. >> it's more than fast enough to break the world record. but the burst of speed also breaks the boat's rudder. >> the race is on hold.
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we need to get him off the course. >> luckily dave isn't hurt in this record stunt. >> mashed the propeller and cleared the propeller and strut off the boat. >> but it's a very different story seven years earlier. dave was at the columbia cup championship in washington state, ready to claim the record for the most consecutive race wins. this would be his 20th win in a row. but as he bursts out of the gate, almost instantly the boat has hit two waves in a row. at top speed, the force is too much and the hydroplane blows over. the top of the boat crashes onto the water, exploding the protective canopy, ripping off his oxygen mask and submerging him in the water.
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>> i was unconscious under water. the safety team got there right away, got me onto the bottom of the boat. they cleared the airway and got the water out. >> amazingly, dave survives. his hand is crushed by the flying metal. he ends up losing two fingers on his right hand. it's the kind of trash that may deter a driver. >> i just felt i had things to prove to myself and give to the sport. >> dave and the team rebuild miss budweiser redesigning the capsule to make it safer. >> luckily to date since we've done that, nobody has been killed or hurt significantly inside that capsule. >> years later, dave will have good reason to be thankful for that safer capsule. in the summer of 2009, he enters
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thunder on the ohio, a race he's won ten times before. in his first heat another driver loses control and hits dave dave's boat. dave flips over and smashes into the water. but dave's work redesigning the driver's capsule pays off. it stays in one piece, and he waits in safety for help to arrive. >> the only injury i got was a finger injury, where it broke a knuckle in the finger. as boat accidents go, i'll take that. that's a good one. after decades of speeding, crashing and tumbling through the air, dave says driving a hike roe plane is a thrill only few can experience. but many more can enjoy watching safely from the shore. >> there's such an unexpected and unanticipated and unpredictable sport, i think people watch because they know when something happens, it's going to be big.
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coming up -- wipeout. >> my god. >> oh, he's down. >> that guy's going to die. >> a surfer is trapped under water, pounded by giant waves. >> you could tell even if he gets a breath after this one, it's going to be horrible. >> when "caught on camera: full throttle" continues. ...and support they need? schools flourish and students blossom. that's why programs like... ...the mickelson exxonmobil teachers academy... ...and astronaut sally ride's science academy are helping our educators improve student success in math and science. let's shoot for the stars. let's invest in our teachers and inspire our students. let's solve this. the calcium they take because they don't take it with food. switch to citracal maximum plus d. it's the only calcium supplement that can be taken with or without food.
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a surfer comes tumbling down a giant wall of water and gets trapped underneath the crushing waves. >> that guy's going to die. >> in the world of big wave surfing, maverick surf spot in northern california is legendary. >> it's like a holy spot for big wave surfing. >> neil matthews has been surfing almost all his life, but he's never seen anything like
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mavericks. >> if you go to mavericks for your first time, pretty much no matter where you surfed before and what big wave experience you've had, you will find it to be remarkable. >> they've measured waves up to like 70 feet. they actually get bigger than that. >> film maker grant washburn has been surfing and shooting the giant waves of mavericks for almost two decades. he's seen some incredible surfing and insane wipeouts. >> it's not necessarily harder to ride big waves. the stakes are higher, and they are punished more severely. you make a big mistakes at mavericks, it will be unlike anything else that would happen to a surfer anywhere else. >> january 30th, 1998, the el nino weather pattern makes for a
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winter of record surf and big swell is coming in from hawaii. >> it didn't originally look that huge, but they actually were so thick and powerful they were some of biggest waves we had seen. >> the waves were powerful enough to give the most experienced surfers second thoughts, but a few decide they couldn't miss this opportunity. as grant films, one of mavericks' best known surfers who goes by the name flea, goes for a wave. he doesn't make it. >> when he came up to get his breath, the next wave landed on him. huge wave. beat him down into the deep. he held his breath, made it out of that. he got pushed into the rocks and got stuck there. >> the leash attaches the surfboard to his leg is wrapped around one of the jagged rocks in an area so dangerous, surfers call it the bone yard. the battering waves give flea no
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chance to help himself. >> just surge after surge, held in the spot. we thought we were going to watch him die, because he's in 15-foot whitewater being pounded by waves. there's no way anyone can get there. >> miraculously the leash comes off and flea makes it safely to shore. >> it wasn't that big of a mistake, that bold of an attempt so, that scares everybody off a bit. people are really like, whoa, okay. >> everybody but one. neil is already on his way out to the surf spot and doesn't see flea's narrow escape. after a full 45 minutes of paddling, he reaches the point where the waves are breaking. he sees a big wave coming and takes it. >> oh, my god! >> oh, he's dead. that guy's going to die. >> his balance was thrown off. he falls really hard into the middle of the wave. the wave lands on him. and you could tell even if he gets a breath after this one, it's going to be horrible.
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>> on shore, grant watches as neil goes beneath the wave. he scans the foamy water hoping he'll surface. >> we can see a surfboard, with a rope to his leg, and it's pointing up the whole time, which means he's about 20 feet under water. >> surfers call this tombstoning. neil is trapped deep underwater. a second wave bigger than the first crashes directly on to his board. >> i was looking up and seeing daylight thinking i'm going to get a breath. then all of a sudden i drop back down to the bottom line an elevator ride. i was hanging out there thinking, okay, maybe i need to get some air. i'm starting to get a little bit worried. then it happened again, another boom. >> a third wave has broken overhead. the boom shoots neil up to the surface and finally he catches a breath, but just as he gasps for air, he spots the jagged rocks and knows he's in deadly
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territory, the same place flea just narrowly escaped. is the bone yard. >> there was another wall of water coming toward me. i decided to grab onto the back of my board and point it toward the crack in between the rocks. somehow i managed to ambulance myself between the rocks and make it to the lagoon safely. >> he was held under water for almost a full minute before he drew a breath. it's amazing he's still alive. >> i don't think there are many wipeouts in the history of the sport that are nearly as bad as his. he lived, but he got lucky. there are people that have died. >> neil paddles to shore through the foaming waves. >> my back hurts. it hurts to breathe. he later discovers that the pounding whitewater broke his back. >> i couldn't do anything. i was that far under. was getting beat. it felt like i was going over the falls over and over again.
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>> but surfer dudes are built tough. a broken back didn't stop neil from returns to mavericks, even if this maverick approaches the sport a little more cautiously. the rush he gets surfing is in his bones. >> when i finish every single ride that i ever had out at mavericks, i feel enlightened and i feel like i've done something just wonderful. so there you go. extreme athletes who are not just breaking barriers, they're smashing them to pieces again and again. if you have a video you'd like to send to us, log on to our website caughtoncamera.msnbc.com. i'm contessa brewer. that's it for this edition of "caught on camera."

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