tv Caught on Camera MSNBC May 5, 2013 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT
"caught on camera." a cruise liner is sinking. >> my job is to rock and roll and not to rescue. >> almost 600 lives hang in the balance, and the captain is nowhere to be found. >> i was saying mayday, mayday, we're sinking. and he was saying, what rank are you? i said i'm not actually a rank. i'm a guitarist. >> five kids plunge into frigid waters. >> if you don't do your job the best that you were trained with no hesitation, a child will die. >> a baby falls into a well. >> you just wanted to reach down and pull them out of the ground. excuse me.
lives on the line. >> police. >> these are the passengers of the airplane that are caught in the power line. >> cameras recording all the drama. >> screaming for oxygen and an ambulance and rope. >> amazing tales of survival. >> i knew that there's no way i was going to make it to the surface in time to get a breath. >> "caught on camera: close encounters with death." when life hangs in the balance, when quick decisions make the difference between living or dying, it's rare for cameras to be there recording all the drama. in this hour, you'll see six different stories, death-defying experiences that unfold with cameras rolling. in our first story we head down under to australia where a worker unclogging a drain pipe is in danger of going down under for good.
>> it was a very wild sort of a night. it was raining very heavily. >> damian leshki is a news cameraman in brisbane, australia. >> the newsroom had contacted me to tell me to sort of be on alert for any flooding. the highway was blocked. so i thought, well, i'll go up, just check it out. >> road crews have been busy expanding a major highway, but when damian leshki arrives, he can't see any traces of pavement. >> when i pulled up, it looked like an ocean. there were cars back for miles and miles. the water was well and truly across the road. >> firefighter steve waterworth is on duty that night, and he's busy pumping water off the road, now waist deep in some spots. >> while we were doing that, a road crew turned up and the foreman got out, and they looked at where the water was being blocked and knew where the drains were.
>> the foreman knows what's blocking the drains -- sandbags. they've been temporarily put in place for construction. he decides to send one of his men, david winter, into the waist-deep water. >> i saw one workman, david, who was ducking down under the water trying to pull these sandbags out. another man had hold of his hand. >> the worker successfully removes all but one of the bags, but there's one last bag still blocking the drain. david dives into the murky water to grab it. >> nobody sort of realized what had actually happened because everyone had thought, oh, he's just pulling another sandbag up. when he didn't come back up, all hell broke loose. >> the force of the water on top of the bag pushed it through the drain and took him with it. he was above the water, still at that stage, but his legs were wedged into the pipe.
>> by removing the bag, david unplugs the drain, and now the pressure of the gushing water pushes so forcefully, it sucks david's legs into the drain. >> i jumped into the water to try and help remove him from the drain. his legs were wedged into the pipe. >> firemen, the roadworkers, they all just dived in and just trying to pull him up. >> fighting the incredible force of water, the workers are able to get his head up. he's gasping for air, and then suddenly, he goes under again. >> give me the line. give me the line. >> he was wedged into the drain up to his hips and his head was about two foot under water. >> david is in grave danger. he's drowning before their very eyes. >> we've really got to get something done here, and if we don't, he could lose his life, and i didn't want that to happen
while i was there. >> screaming for oxygen and an ambulance and ropes and anything they could get their hands on. >> get it on him. get it on him! get it on him! >> david's gone a full minute without air. how long can he survive under water? they know it can't be much longer, so the four men in the water pull with all of their might. >> i was dragging him back to the surface and he got a mouthful of air, and then he went under again and i thought that's it. there's no way they're going to be able to help him up. i thought he's gone. there's no way. >> but through pure strength and will, firefighter steve waterworth and the other guys are able to pull david up again and get him the air he so badly needs. >> when we lifted david's head above the water, he was panicking. he looked like he might be in a bit of a state of shock. >> david winter can breathe, but
he's not out of danger yet. his legs are still stuck in that menacing drain pipe. >> get me an ambulance! get me an ambulance! >> when i reached down and removed his one leg from the drain, water started to flow a little bit easier and then we eventually got the second leg out. >> as he pulls the second leg out, water flows down into the drain with the force of a raging river. >> the water rushed down that fast it actually ripped the boot off my foot. >> they passed david up to the top to the road, and everyone is just so exhausted. >> cameraman damian leshki considered jumping into the frantic rescue effort at one point, but as it turns out he's more helpful standing on the side catching all the action on camera. >> when i turned my light from the camera on, it lit up the whole area.
so it was -- i suppose if i hadn't have been there with that light, you know, they would have been trying to rescue this guy in near pitch-black conditions. >> but damian knows he played only a small part in the rescue. having witnessed the drama, he understands what it took for steve waterworth and the others to pull off the amazing rescue. >> steve is lying in the drain, which is now basically emptied of all the water, and he's just there absolutely exhausted. the other man who went in from the construction company, he was sitting -- he was crouched down beside the fire truck in tears. >> get me an ambulance! coming up, a baby falls into a well. >> heartbreaking. you just wanted to reach down
and pull him out. excuse me. >> an emotional rescue unlike any other. and -- >> there's water everywhere. >> a ship sinking in the night. >> no more lifeboats, and they've got a couple of hundred people still left on board. that's a shock. >> when "caught on camera: close encounters with death" continues. with the new staples rewards program you get 5% back, on everything. everything. everything. everything. everything. everything. everything? [ all ] everything? yup! with the new staples rewards program you get 5% back on everything. everything? everything. [ male announcer ] the new staples rewards program. get free shipping and 5% back on everything your business needs. that was easy.
it was frustrating. you just couldn't do anything for him. heartbreaking. you just wanted to reach down and pull him out of the ground. excuse me. >> a 17-month-old boy, jesse krause, is wedged 16 feet below ground after falling into a well. rescue workers aboveground battle to save his life. it's a race against time. it was supposed to be a quiet night for jerry and karen crouse. father and son are playing
together in the backyard of their new home in the small town of mulvane, kansas, just outside wichita. and then, in the blink of an eye, baby jesse makes a sudden move. before his father can reach him, he's gone. it's 7:04 p.m. when jesse's parents call 911, setting into motion a dramatic rescue effort that will soon require more than 50 police officers and firefighters. among them, firefighters dan wegner and tim daneen. >> probably got about ten feet from the hole, and we could hear jesse crying up out of there, and stuck our heads down in the hole and looked at him, and sure enough we could see jesse's head and one arm above his forehead kind of protecting his eyes. he just cried. he just wanted out of there so bad. >> oh, your heart sinks. i have a couple children, and all of a sudden, my two kids popped into my head, and you just feel for the mom and dad.
now i've got to get in rescue mode here. this is serious. >> crucial to the effort, a fiberoptic camera borrowed from a local company gives rescuers a close look at how jesse's doing. >> you kind of picture in your mind how he's positioned and everything, and all of a sudden it's real. he's right there on the camera and that's when i said, oh, there he is. and my heart is like, oh, we've got to get this little guy out of here. >> by now, a huge crowd has gathered. neighbors, friends, cameras, lights. but rescuers are focused on the task at hand. firefighter dave's job is to figure out what needs to be done. the only way we were going to get him out was to increase the hole size, and we couldn't do that from the top, so we had to go to the bottom and increase the size and bring him out from down below. >> the well is 25 feet deep and only eight to ten inches in diameter. jesse is stuck 16 feet down. so the plan is to dig down 20 feet with heavy ground-breaking equipment and then cut across by hand. rescuers know they need to move cautiously.
>> if there would have been any further collapse, of course, in the well above his head, yes, there's a risk. and that was one of our main concerns is vibration of the ground around the opening. they shut off all traffic, stopped all traffic within 500 feet. >> my role as a rescue was to help with the shoring and the trench. and my job was also to be one of the diggers down at the bottom that actually dug from the trench over to the well where little jesse was. >> as the operation approaches its fifth hour, 17-month-old baby jesse seems to be hanging in there, but the question everyone is asking, how much longer can he last? >> my only thought was he's getting tired. i was worried about him maybe giving up, and i was talking to him, you know, comforting him as well as myself.
>> firefighter tim daneen is working with other rescuers in 15-minute intervals. they've made it down 20 feet safely and are cutting across when it's tim's turn to dig again. he's finally close enough to talk to the baby boy. >> oh, jesse, just, i'm sorry if i, you know, knocked any dirt in your face, and just give me a few more minutes, i'll have you out of here. we're all working together to get you out. hang in there, buddy. >> as he talks, he inches his way closer and closer. >> we knew we were really close, about three or four inches. and then we took the spade and kind of -- i just kind of slowly turned it, and all of a sudden, dirt fell away, and his little foot was just like right there. >> daneen is moving dirt away as fast as he can. he knows how close he is, but he won't jeopardize jesse's safety by moving too quickly. he's slowly brushing the earth away with his hands when finally just before midnight, pay dirt. >> laid him straight back. he let out a really good cry.
you know, he had his little hands tucked up, and, of course, his feet were still tucked up underneath him. and then he did that -- you could tell he was kind of cold and where their little lips quiver. >> daneen stabilizes the toddler with a board and passes him to anxious rescuers. >> i was carrying him. as i stuck my head up out of the trench, then i was just ecstatic that we had him out of there, and the people were cheering. >> jesse seems to take it all in stride. from a dark hole to the glare of television and rescue lights, and not a whimper. but still, down in the ditch, firefighter tim daneen lets his emotions take hold. >> i was just so happy. i mean i actually cried down in the bottom of that hole. there was so much emotions running through my body. i climbed out, and there was just major hugs from co-workers and people on top. >> jesse's rushed to the hospital and is admitted with a mild case of hypothermia, but doctors are able to restore his body temperature to normal. other than a few scrapes and
bruises, the toddler is remarkably fine. emotionally drained but elated, jerry and karen crouse are able to express their gratitude. >> i just want to say thank you to everyone that was involved and every person that was there. >> we think you're heroes. and we also want to thank god for letting us keep jesse. and jesse gave me a smile last night, and he's doing great today. he's going home. >> i got to meet his parents, who gave me great big hugs. i'll always remember him in my heart and in my prayers. that was a pretty tough ordeal. as an adult, i couldn't have done it. i'd have probably given up long before he did. he hung in there. he's a trooper. tough little guy. coming up, five kids fall into a frozen pond. >> i heard him say i'm going to give up. and he kind of pushed off.
>> rescuers in a race to save their lives. and -- >> incredible. >> a close encounter with a whale. >> my god. she's in the whale's mouth. >> 40 feet down. running out of air, and running out of time. when "caught on camera: close encounters with death" continues. [ male announcer ] this is kevin. to prove to you that aleve is the better choice for him, he's agreed to give it up. that's today? [ male announcer ] we'll be with him all day as he goes back to taking tylenol. that was okay, but after lunch my knee started to hurt again, and now i gotta take more pills. ♪ yup another pill stop. can i get my aleve back yet? ♪ for my pain, i want my aleve. ♪ [ male announcer ] this may, buy aleve and help those in need. i did? when visa signature asked everybody what upgraded experiences really mattered... you suggested luxury car service
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we got five kids in the water, a pond in queens. >> five kids, ages 11 to 14, bobbing up and down in frigid water, clinging to the edge of the ice and clinging to life. >> i thought they were going to die. >> it's 4:45 p.m. new york city corrections officer betty hayes is at home when she sees five kids walking across a pond less than 100 yards from her front steps. >> i just happened to be coming down the stairs at that time. they all fell in. >> betty grabs her phone, immediately dialed 911 and runs down to the edge of the water. >> i was talking to the kids, trying to keep them calm. and they're screaming, help me, i don't want to die, you know, i'm drowning.
i'm telling them stay still, hold onto that piece of ice because that was the only thing that was holding them on was that ice they were on. >> the water was 12 feet deep and deathly cold. the kids managed to stay afloat but their backpacks and coats are weighing them down. >> as soon as we hear the children are in the water, we know timing is everything. >> officer michael la mancha and his nypd emergency rescue unit are working at a car accident just blocks away. they're able to get to the pond within minutes. along with la mancha, fellow officers bill fisher and mike mcnamara pump up an inflatable life raft, quickly get their cold weather survival suits on, and race to the ice. what the officers see and hear as they approach the kids only increases the urgency. >> screaming their heads off for help. help me, help me, i can't hold on. i can't hold on.
>> i said, hold on to the ice. a piece would come off and they'd grab another piece. >> knowing the ice is unstable, the officers inch out cautiously. >> we didn't know how bad they were. i mean, it had to be ten minutes? that's a long time to be sitting in ice water. >> the children are losing their strength. the water lowering their body temperatures so much, they can barely move. hypothermia is setting in. >> anything less than 100% rescue for five children is a tragedy. it's a complete tragedy. if you don't do your job to the best that you were trained with no hesitation, a child will die. >> as fisher, la mancha, and mcnamara approach for the rescue, they lay on their stomachs to distribute their weight. >> at that point, the children were excited and they had grabbed on to us, and slowly the ice broke and we slid into the water with them. >> the kids go into a frenzy. one of them is so scared, she dumps a policeman into the chilling waters. tethered to the rescue ropes onshore, the officers are able to recover and boost three of
the children onto the raft. >> we were kind of running out of room inside the raft. >> the two kids still in the water, joanna morales and her brother rafael, let go of the ice and start drifting away. >> you could see it in their faces. i started to lose one of them. >> la mancha quickly grabs the girl, joanna, leaving rafael for the moment. >> at that point i heard him say, i'm going to give up, and at that point, he kind of pushed off. and i reached in, and thank god i was close enough to reach him, and i grabbed him by his vest. i feel bad about it later. i'm happy i did it at the time. i yelled at him and told him to hold onto this raft, you're coming in next. and it worked. he got scared of me a little bit and held onto the raft. >> with two kids still in the water and nobody on steady ground, reinforcements arrive. firefighters, including lieutenant greg piccone, make it across the ice to help. >> i was really close enough to see their eyes, and they were in panic.
they were almost listless at that stage. >> lieutenant piccone crawls across the ice, trying to disperse his weight. >> i reach the kids. that's when it got crazy. the ice broke. the kids, we all went right in. >> now six firefighters, two police officers, and the two children fight to stay afloat. >> it seemed like an eternity. >> there was no way that we were going to let these kids go. >> rescuers onshore scramble to pull everybody to safety, and miraculously everybody, including the kids, make it back to solid ice and eventually to shore, more than 20 minutes after they fell in. >> they had very little strength. even when we got them to the shore, they couldn't walk. we had to carry them. >> the children are rushed to the hospital where dr. elliott friedman is manning the pediatric trauma unit. >> they were very close to losing their lives. a few more minutes and they
would have dropped into the critical temperature range. >> but all five of the children do pull through and live to tell about their close encounter with death. >> because my sister was drowning. she was screaming. i tried to save her, but i fell in. i couldn't get up because my book bag was heavy. but he pulled my head up and pushed me to the ice. >> i want to thank all the officers and the police department and the fire department. >> if we didn't get there when we did, that would have been a real bad situation. i think that we could have been doing a body recovery operation instead of a rescue. it was real close.
up next -- >> we didn't know how long we had. >> a cruise ship is in deep trouble, and it isn't the officers performing the rescue. >> my job is to rock and roll, not to rescue. also a plane is going down. >> it went from to a -- >> they brace for impact. then, if crashing into the ground isn't dangerous enough -- >> there's a plane that is literally stuck up in the power cords. >> stuck up in the power? >> stuck up in the power cords. >> when "caught on camera: close encounters with death" continues. [ dad ] ah! lily...
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here's what's happening. u.n. secretary general is expressing grave concern over israel's air strikes near damascus. he calls on all sides to exercise maximum calm and restraint. cooler weather is help management fight against the huge wildfire in southern california. the 44 square mile blaze is about 60% contained.
after eight week of decline, gas prices may be heading back up. the price of regular climbed a penny to $3.54 a gallon. welcome back to "caught on camera." i'm contessa brewer. if a ship is sinking, the maritime rule is the captain goes down with the ship. but in our next story, the captain of the oceanos cruise liner decides he has other plans and it's left to a group of untrained, unqualified entertainers to pull off a dangerous rescue. off the coast of south africa, the 12-ton oceanos cruise liner pitches and rolls wildly in a storm. 571 people are aboard the cruise ship, and the situation is even worse than the terrified passengers realize. their captain is missing, and their fate is now in the hands of a bunch of inexperienced
staff members desperately radioing for help. >> we were asked how long have we got left to float, what's your position. >> can you give a free channel? over. >> we'll tell you one. >> he would say, what rank are you? i was saying, well, i'm not actually a rank. i'm a guitarist. my job is to rock and roll, not to rescue. >> moss hill is on the ship's entertainment staff. he stumbles into leading a desperate rescue effort when it's clear none of the ship's officers are taking charge. >> i thought, well, we'll go onto the bridge and just see what the captain's doing now because we thought obviously he's still on the bridge doing whatever it is captains do at a time like this, but there was nobody on the bridge. >> the terrifying drama begins a few hours earlier when right before a scheduled performance, the ship's lights go out. no power. moss enlists his friend, julian butler, the cruise's magician, to help investigate the
situation. >> at that point, moss grabbed his video camera and went down to a lower deck and saw water coming up the stairwell. >> i'm right down below now. i'm actually on the deck near the deck. there's water everywhere. it looks like it's flowing in reasonably fast. >> i literally could not believe it. i now know we're in deep, deep trouble. >> moss runs back upstairs to tell people he thinks the ship is sinking and finds an evacuation is already under way. but instead of being relieved, he's alarmed by what he sees. >> we could see some lifeboats are starting to be launched, but those lifeboats weren't going down with enough people in them, they weren't nearly full. plus there was a disproportionate number of officers and other crew on those lifeboats. >> there was no women and children first. >> many of the officers and crew members are deserting. the entertainment staff knows they're unqualified but quickly realize it's up to them to come up with a rescue plan.
>> we didn't know how long we had. it could have gone down within an hour with water coming up deck by deck. we had a lot of elderly people onboard. we actually had a very small baby just a couple of months old. >> julian, moss, and several others start loading the lifeboats with elderly and children, sending them into what seems like a dark abyss. >> there was no real plan once people got into the lifeboats where they were going to go. >> they load all the lifeboats on one side of the ship, then head to the other side to load the remaining boats. >> the ship is now leaning over so far that the lifeboats wouldn't slide down. then we realized we've got no more lifeboats. that's a shock. >> it's the middle of the night. 226 passengers are still left on board the sinking ship. and the entertainers are running out of ideas.
that's when they head to the bridge to look for the captain, only to find he's missing. they make mayday calls and then continue to search for the captain. >> i found the captain sitting underneath the stairwell just smoking. and he just didn't seem to be almost aware of the severity of the situation. and i asked him could he come to the bridge and help us to liaise with the rescue ships because we didn't really know how to answer the questions they were asking us. and he was just saying, no, not necessary. and i realized then that he just wasn't going to take charge. and that's when we knew that's it. the entertainers are now in charge. >> moss and his crew eventually are able to make contact with the south african defense force. they launch a rescue operation sending helicopters. but the choppers are a few hours away. the ship is listing badly.
and the clock is ticking on the rescue effort. >> as the sun started to come up, the helicopters began to arrive. suddenly you feel like great, here's the rescue. here's the cavalry. >> but relief quickly turns to anxiety when the helicopters can't land. >> they hovered for ages. eventually we realized that the problem was that there's -- from the main bridge area across the deck, there's cabling and there's small masts, and there was a cable running down that he would get snagged on. >> they managed to cut the cable, but landing the helicopters on a ship tilting at such an angle proves impossible. so instead moss finds a rope tying himself to a rail so he doesn't slide straight into the ocean. next, four navy divers are lowered down. moss grabs them by the legs, and finally rescuers are onboard.
>> and i can clearly remember hanging on the railing with these two navy divers in their black frog suits absolutely ready to -- you know, trained guys who know what they're doing and then saying, right, there's a lot more people on board than we thought. we don't think we're going to be able to get everybody off. coming up, rescuers have made it onto the ship. >> by then the water was up to the portholes. >> but time has finally run out. >> passengers just had to jump in. and -- >> all of a sudden i realized i couldn't breathe. and that's when everything changed. >> an experience of a lifetime turns in an instant. when "caught on camera: close encounters with death" continues.
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time is running out for the 226 people stuck aboard this sinking oceanos cruise ship. they're in the tenth hour of their terrifying ordeal. all the rescue boats are either gone or useless. helpless and desperately waiting to be rescued, they know the ship won't stay afloat much longer. then, finally, helicopters arrive and lower rescuers onto the deck. everyone lines up in an orderly fashion except, amazingly, the captain of the ship. >> the captain strode across the deck, put a harness on himself, and next thing, he was gone. >> it's 7:00 in the morning. julian and one of the navy divers know there are still too many people onboard to be helicoptered out in time. by now, waves are crashing onto the deck of the ship. so they go looking for another way to get people off. they find some zodiac boats.
the diver jumps into the water and climbs into the boat while julian goes to get some of the strongest swimmers left on the ship. >> the ship is listing so much at this time that the passengers on the front of the ship, as the swell came up, the passengers could then jump in the water and then the zodiac would pull around and pull them into the zodiac. >> other lifeboats have been hovering in the area, but with 20- to 30-foot swells, have been unable to get close to the oceanos. but the zodiac boat is easier to maneuver. the operation is very dangerous. but by this time, options have nearly run out. >> passengers just had to jump in. i told one crew, you've got to jump into the water. and he had his life jacket on, but he looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, but i can't swim. so i grabbed hold of the back of his life jacket and said, okay, i'm going to hold onto you. jump. so we both jumped together, and
we were able to get into the zodiac. >> julian is now in a boat and on his way to safety. in all he and the navy divers rescued 40 people with their little boat. from the water, julian can see that only a few people, including moss hills, are left. among the last to leave the ship, moss hills finally gets his chance to rescue himself. >> when i finally put a harness on myself and got hoisted up into the helicopter, it was an incredible feeling. and suddenly, you know, i felt that's it. i'm safe. and i looked down at the ship and i thought, you know, that's -- from the air to see just how critically damaged the ship was. we looked down and just saw hundreds and hundreds of people, a wave came over me.
i remember one of the rescue guys coming to me and saying, are you okay? i said, yes. everybody's off. it's over. we've got them all off, and then collapsing. >> moss is exhausted but finally safe. when he comes to, he only wants to know if everyone else is okay. >> i still thought there were people missing. and i was feeling this immense dread that we'd left somebody onboard because there were people unaccounted for. >> amazingly all 571 passengers, crew members and cruise staff make it off the oceanos alive. later a naval board of inquiry blames the captain and several of his senior officers for negligence. moss hills will never forget the moment he realized what a small group of entertainers had just done. >> and i remember there being an announcement on tv saying that every passenger on the oceanos has been accounted for, everyone is rescued.
and i -- and knew that, you know, we got everybody off. now, from the rough seas of the indian ocean to the placid waters of the pacific, kona, hawaii, it's mother's day. diving enthusiast lisa costello, a single mom, is on vacation and decides to go out on a boat to see some dolphins with professor lee tefley, a man who shares her enthusiasm for diving. >> it was a really calm day, really clear. and we saw some activity maybe ten miles out. >> as we got closer, it turned out it was a group of pilot whales. incredible. >> whales are not normally social animals. so costello and tepley can't believe how close those whales are swimming to their boat. the professor and the diving enthusiast decide to seize the opportunity and get in the water for a closer look.
>> they're very playful right now. they're all around us. i got in the water first, and i was just floating there, and one male came right up to me and stopped. so i looked at him in the eyes and he looked at me, and i went above the water, and he went above, and we did this bobbing thing with this eye contact a good five minutes. >> as soon as i entered the water, a very large pilot whale swam right up to my camera, and this is something i'd never seen before because pilot whales are wild animals. >> but these whales seemed tame, more amused than scared by the strangers among them. >> i thought what the heck, so i extended my arms and i kind of slowly drifted next to him, and i started touching him, just assuming he was going to take off any second, but he didn't. >> but then knowing these beasts could hurt her, she gets spooked and decides enough is enough. she backs off, but only seconds later to her surprise, another whale approaches her.
>> and we had eye contact again, and i looked at him and he looked at me. oh, god, we're friends. this is fun. >> but now ten miles from the nearest coastline things suddenly go from fun to scary. >> the second pilot whale actually charged at her and grabbed her leg, put it in its mouth. the whale let go of her, and i thought the incident was over with. >> but this incident is far from over. >> and he came around to my right side and grabbed my ankle very gently. and then all of a sudden i realized i couldn't breathe. and that's when everything changed. >> the whale, with lisa in tow, is heading straight down toward the ocean floor. >> when i looked up, and i knew there was no way that even if he let go i was going to make it to the surface in time to get a breath. and that's when i realized this was the end of my life. >> but instead of reacting with panic or fear, a strange calm comes over lisa. the single mother says she thinks of what matters most. >> it was mother's day, and i
started to, you know, thinking about my son and who was going to take care of him and all that sort of stuff that comes up when you think you're going to die. >> on the surface, lee tepley continues to film, shocked by what he's witnessing and helpless to rescue her. >> i was praying that the whale would let her go. >> 40 feet below, as precious seconds tick away, lisa thinks the end is near. >> at that point, i knew i was down to the second, and i looked at him. i looked him right in the eye and i said, i'm really in trouble. and i took my finger and i gently rubbed his eyeball because we were so close, our eyes were locked in. >> lisa doesn't notice it, but the whale slowly starts to coast back up to the surface toward the air her body needs so badly. >> i remember looking up, and at that point i knew my capabilities physically, that there's no way even if he let go, i was going to make it to the surface in time to get a breath. >> she knows she can't swim fast enough, but maybe, just maybe
this nearly two-ton beast will save her from death. >> and you could see about the last 15 feet his whole body bolts to the surface as though he goes okay, she's going to drown. i'm going to get her up. of course, i'm breathing. >> amazingly the only mark on her body, a small cut on her ankle where the whale had hold of her leg. >> i went through this whole, oh, my gosh, i lived. i'll never tell a lie. i'll never cuss. i'll never -- you know, thank you, god, and every five seconds i would sit up in the boat, thank you, god, thank you, thank you. >> when she makes it to land, the first thing lisa does is place a call, giving herself a belated mother's day gift. >> i flew my son over the next day, pulled him out of school because i felt like he had saved my life. coming up -- >> police. >> these are the passengers of the airplane that is caught in the power lines. >> you're on the plane that crashed into the power lines. >> we're on the plane right now,
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all i could see was fireworks. it was sparks everywhere. >> i instantly knew, oh, no, we hit power lines. >> police. >> these are the passengers of the airplane that is caught in the power line. >> you are on the plane that crashed into the power line? >> yes, we are in the plane. right now. both of us. >> two men caught in a death-defying, high-wire act. for brian hooker, a 31-year-old atlanta technology entrepreneur, flying has been a lifelong dream. >> i got an opportunity to fly and immediately said, i belong here. >> within six months of his first flight, brian earns his pilot's license and instrument rating and joins a flying club, and then his first long solo
trip, 600 miles from georgia to ohio to spend christmas with his girlfriend. >> i wanted to meet her folks and enjoy christmas with them. so we traveled up to cleveland to make that happen. >> the flight north is perfect. after spending the holiday with his girlfriend's family, he expects an equally smooth return south. the only difference, this time he takes along a passenger, daryl robinson, his girlfriend's cousin, who's also headed back to atlanta. this will be daryl's second flight ever. but he says he's not nervous. >> he said he was instrument rated. obviously that is a rather skilled pilot. he knows what he is doing. he can fly whether he can see or not. so i pretty much trusted him. >> the flight was scheduled to take five hours and conditions seem ideal when the too take off late that afternoon. >> the flight was going very well. the weather was great. and we seemed to be making great time.
>> in fact, they're making such good time that according to brian's calculations they have plenty of fuel to spare. so he decides to skip a scheduled fuel stop in tennessee. >> approaching knoxville, based on all the information i had, i felt like we were right on schedule. we could make it with room to spare. >> but then an hour past knoxville and still 30 minutes from their intended airport, an unnerving surprise. >> the fuel in the right tank exhausted before i expected it to. >> so quickly he switches to his remaining tank in the left wing. he also decides to land at the first available airport just north of atlanta in cobb county. >> the equipment showed us we were ten minutes away from the airport and the fuel gauge wasn't on "e." it looked like we had 30 minutes of fuel left. >> but then only seven minutes later, still miles from the airfield and at 4,000 feet, the second tank runs dry. >> it went from --
to a -- with the air coming through the plane. >> the novice pilot knows his only chance is to glide the 1800 aircraft to the ground. >> it is a heavily wooded area. planes and trees don't mix. kind of like a blow dryer and a bathtub. >> to make matters worse, it was dark. >> but then a break. >> i spotted a dark clearing between two evenly cut sets of trees. and in my mind i said there we go. >> as the plane descends, the two men brace for impact with the ground. then, just seconds before they touch down, a crash and a dazzle of lights. >> i instantly knew, oh, no, we hit a power line. >> there's a plane that is literally stuck up in the power cords. >> stuck up in the power? >> stuck up in the power cords. >> brian and daryl are skidding across live power lines when
they smash into a pole and come to a stop 80 feet above the ground. >> i was thinking, wow, we are alive. >> alive, but the cockpit is smashed in and the two are hanging upside-down. daryl struggles to get a cell phone from brian's pocket and manages to call 911. >> engine 26 is on the scene. >> captain mike flowers is among the first to arrive. >> it was certainly something i couldn't comprehend. i've never seen an aircraft stuck in power lines like that. >> we're going to need a crane out here. >> we had to make sure the power was secured. we were dealing with the wind kicking up, possibly dislodging the plane. of course we were worried about hypothermia because it was 25 to 28 degrees that night. >> each high-tension wire carries 230,000 volts of electricity. just 90 volts can be lethal. turning it all off is a pain staking two-hour ordeal. >> i'm hanging out of the seat
with a seat belt trying to brace myself against different parts of the plane. >> the pressure from my body was starting to cut off circulation to the other parts of my body. he couldn't feel his legs. i couldn't feel my legs. >> rescuers draped two slings around the fuselage to create a makeshift harness, supporting the weight of the plane. now more than 50 rescuers worked ever so cautiously around the web of wires which even without power could become deadly whip if one of them snaps. >> the force exerted by one of those lines had it become dislodged could have been as much as 10,000 pounds. >> the rescue operation is heading into its sixth hour. brian and daryl are cold, numb, and desperately want to be freed from the capsule. >> they let us know, okay, we are ready to come get you. >> the first thing they said to me was hold on to me, buddy. i said no need to tell me that. i pretty much just slid down the door, right into the bucket. >> next they gently lower brian into the cherry picker.
>> there we are, fairly secured in the cherry picker with the fire department guys. you know, it's kind of almost like a group hug. when my feet touched the ground, my hands in the air, i shouted hallelujah. i jumped around, you know, and did a little jig. >> brian and daryl believe it's nothing short of a miracle. a higher power watching over them on those power lines. >> when god wants to move in your life, he likes to do it in a manner that you are certain that it's him. >> daryl says if he is going to fly with brian again, one thing's for sure -- >> i make sure when we land we have four tanks. we going to have extra gas. >> brian hooker believes his survival was nothing short of a miracle and it appears his harrowing flight was worth it. after meeting his girlfriend's family, the couple was married and now they have their first child, a baby boy. they tell us they are shooting lots of video. if you have a video you would like to send us, logon to our website.
caughtoncamera.msnbc.com. i'm contessa brewer. that's all for this edition of "caught on camera. paralyzed with fear in the raging waters. >> i wanted to scream, i wanted to be off my car, but i couldn't move. stranded on a frozen ocean in a sinking ship. >> i knew this was the end. i knew i was going to die. trapped in a burning car with young children inside. >> there's a baby in there. >> i was terrified when i couldn't get her seat belt undone. falling to earth in a deadly spiral. a bad dream with no end in sight. >> oh, my gosh, i'm so scared.