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tv   Caught on Camera  MSNBC  March 19, 2016 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT

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when disaster strikes, every second counts. >> get out. somebody grab him. >> and every decision matters. >> there's a little girl! >> daring rescues from land, air, and sea. lives on the line with only precious seconds to spare. "caught on camera: nick of time."
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hello. i'm contessa brewer. welcome to "caught on camera." a day at the beach, a night out to see your favorite band, a hike in a beautiful state park. sometimes even the most enjoyable activities can suddenly take a turn for the worse. and when they do, who will come to the rescue? for one utah motorcyclist trapped beneath a burning car, the answer is not necessarily who you'd expect. a motorcyclist is trapped underneath a burning car as bystanders rush to try and save him. >> oh, my gosh! >> i did see the flame, and i thought the car had potential to blow up. >> logan, utah, is a quiet college town home to utah state university. but right outside campus on september 12th, 2011, a car and a motorcycle collide, and the bike bursts into flames. the unfolding scene is captured
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from the ninth floor of a nearby building by university videographer, chris garth. >> i was setting up for a lecture. i noticed smoke outside the window. that's when i started videotaping. >> flames that engulfed the motorcycle are spreading to the front end of the car. the driver has escaped, but the man on the motorcycle is nowhere to be seen. university freshman kelsey alder comes running from her dorm room. as she approaches the wreckage, she notices something. >> i saw fingers under the car. they weren't very visible. because i was there with my roommate and i was like, katherine, do you see those fingers? she said, no, i don't see them. >> more bystanders arrive as alder gets down on her stomach to confirm her fear. >> when i got down, his eyes were right across from mine and they were wide open. >> the rider is trapped. his foot barely visible behind the front tire. he's slipping in and out of consciousness and unable to
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move. >> there was a connection that i needed to get him out of there from that point on. there's no going back. you don't back down after you see something like that. >> with smoke pouring from the front of the vehicle, it's a race against time to get the rider out before the car erupts. chris garth and his colleagues watch helplessly from their perch high above. their reactions recorded as the camera rolls. >> is someone under the vehicle? >> the biker's under. >> oh, my gosh. >> there's no time to wait for police or firefighters. >> the guy next to me said we need to lift this car. >> to reach the rider, alder and a handful of bystanders attempt to lift the car, which weighs almost 4,000 pounds. but they can't get it more than a few inches off the ground. >> it was scary. not because the flame. we could feel we didn't get anywhere. and you're lifting but nothing
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was coming out of it. you know, it was somebody's life in your hands, and you can't do anything about it. >> alder gets back down to check on the rider. >> i said, hey, can you hear me? and he didn't respond. >> but she can see his chest moving. back on her feet, she points to the rider letting the others know he's still alive. by this time, more bystanders have converged on the wreckage, including graduate student james o'day who comes rushing in to help lift the car a second time. >> there wasn't any argument whether this would work, this would not work. we just went ahead and did it. >> one, two, three go. come on. >> from behind the camera, garth and his colleagues cheer on the bystanders. >> go. >> oh, go. you can do it. >> the tire started sliding a bit because of the anglement. you could feel people panicking. they started yelling get him out, get him out. if anything we have to get him out before it drops back on him. it could cause further injury. >> get out. somebody grab him. >> holy crap. >> hurry. >> as the car is slipping, construction worker lee christensen runs over from his
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nearby work site to help. >> i heard someone yelling pull him out. i didn't know how long they could hold the car up. i just grabbed him where i could and got him out. >> christianson pulls the rider out by his right ankle. >> oh, my gosh. oh, my gosh. police arrive moments earlier order the bystanders to back away. they tend to the fire before the victim for fear the car may still explode. from his vantage point, chris garth isn't sure the man is still alive. >> oh, my gosh. >> i couldn't tell if he was breathing. i couldn't tell if he was moving. it was a low moment in the room to say the least. >> on the ground, james o'day also fears the worst. >> i thought he was dead. but there are times you pray silently. i was just praying within myself that he should live. >> while police attempt to control the fire, an off-duty nurse who happened to be in the
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area tends to the rider. garth, who feared the worst, suddenly spots movement. >> is he moving? he's moving. >> yes, he is. >> he's moving! holy crap! >> the rider, 21-year-old student brandon wright is waving his arms seemingly communicating with the man who's treating him. >> he's moving. no freaking way. >> he went under the car. >> no freaking way. >> within minutes, firefighters and paramedics arrive on scene where they continue to work on wright. he's loaded onto a stretcher and into a waiting ambulance. although he suffers minor burns, a broken pelvis, and leg, wright is lucky to escape with his life. just a few days later, he's well enough to address the media. >> i just wanted to thank all the heroes that put their lives
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on the line to save mine. i'm forever in debt. i can't thank them enough. i just hope they know how much they mean to me. >> for his part, james o'day doesn't think of himself as a hero. >> anybody would give a helping hand to anybody who is in need. that's exactly what i did. i didn't do anything extraordinary. >> kelsey alder doesn't like the label either, despite risking her own life when lifting the burning car. >> from my mind, i was focused on him and his life and what we could do to get him out of there. even if it meant risking my own. >> you see a lot of bad things happen in the world. wars, famines, starvation. then you see a few people help out someone in the small, little town usa, and it gives you a
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little bit of hope for what mankind is capable of. coming up, a teenage boy is trapped under six feet of sand. and later, a stage comes crashing down at an outdoor concert. >> we need a tourniquet! >> when "caught on camera: nick of time" continues. if you don't have a villain. the world needs villains [tires screeching] and villains need cars. ♪ so we know how to cover almost alanything. thing, even "turkey jerks." [turkey] gobble. [butcher] i'm sorry! (burke) covered march fourth,2014. talk to farmers. we've seen almost everything, so we know how to cover almost anything. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪
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it's a race against time to reach a teenage boy trapped underneath the sand. >> people just unite and just had that single vision of trying to rescue this child. >> i had to start preparing for the worst. what if we do pull a dead body out of here? >> newport beach, california, is a prime spot to catch some waves or just spend the day lounging on the sand. but on the afternoon of august 3rd, 2011, a nightmare is unfolding below this idyllic beach.
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17-year-old matt meena is trapped underneath six feet of sand when the hole he's digging collapses in on him. alerted by meena's cousins, lifeguards, including captain mike helfide, rush to his aid. >> when i first came on scene, we had two lifeguards digging and then four or five, matt's cousins and friends that he was with. at that point we started getting more and more volunteers. >> helfide organizes the group into three concentric circles surrounding the spot where meena was last seen. >> the first rescuers are inside moving sand, trying to locate the patient. the second ring takes the sand from the rescuers and move it further out. the third ring is to take the sand and disperse it further out. >> as word ripples out that a teenager is trapped, bystanders
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start converging on the scene and the crowd grows. >> i just saw a whole row of moms just on their hands and knees just digging as if it were their own child. we had guys in business suits who had seen the commotion and come down. girls who were just hanging out on the beach are all there. >> people are using shovels, buckets, fins, their bare hands. whatever they can grab to dig. >> i saw one person take a potted plant from their balcony and dump the plant and soil out and use the pot as an instrument to dig. >> fire department battalion chief jeff boyles, who arrives to coordinate the effort, knows the clock is ticking. 5, 10, 15 minutes pass. >> once we started hitting the 15-minute mark, i had to start preparing in my mind that if this person really is five to seven feet down there, not only is that an enormous amount of weight to bear, but there's no oxygen down that deep either.
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>> once you are under more to four to six minutes, brain death starts to occur. by ten minutes your chance of survival is very limited. my expectations is this is a body recovery at that point. just horrifying to think of that. >> but lifeguards, firefighters, police, and the volunteers continue to work feverishly. >> i tried to pull a couple of them out of the hole after about 20 minutes of digging, but they just wouldn't come out. they were in there and they were going to pull him out. >> after close to 30 minutes of frantic digging, finally news comes from the center of the giant pit. rescuers can see the top of meena's head. >> that's a long time though. >> and unbelievably, it looks like he's alive. >> he was taking slow, deep, gasping breaths, and his ears were blue, which indicated to us that we were literally, literally within a minute or two of perhaps losing brain cells and matt dying. >> the rescuers quickly get the
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sand away from meena's face and get him oxygen. they place a bucket over his head to protect him from the shifting sand while they continue to dig out the rest of his body. >> we can pull him out! >> back off if you're not a firefighter or lifeguard. back off. >> rescuers take a strap usually used to tow vehicles and slip it around meena's upper body. and then they pull. >> when we pulled matt out and he started breathing, the applause just sent chills up your spine. [ cheers and applause ] >> everybody back up! >> it's a moment meena buried underneath the sand for more than 30 minutes didn't think would come. but here he is one month later. sharing his harrowing story. >> well, i was six feet underneath. can't hear anything above the ground. >> for meena the nightmare began
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when he was on his stomach six feet below the surface digging a horizontal tunnel. >> i felt a little bit of sand on my leg come down. little chunks. then the whole thing just came down. tried to back out when i felt the sand on my legs but it was too late. happened so fast. >> meena screams and shakes his head side to side to keep sand off his face. in the process, he creates a small air pocket, allowing him to breathe. >> he was able to make just enough pocket to have enough air to survive. that's probably what made the big difference. that's what gave us that time to find him and rescue him. >> as he begins to feel the weight of the sand, meena passes out which likely helps keep him alive while everyone on the surface searches for him. >> matt had been down there screaming trying to pump his arms and trying to move his head. one, he could have lost that void space.
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two it could have been collapsed on him. and two, he would have been using up the precious oxygen that was still in there. >> meena is carted away in an ambulance and only later do rescuers learn that he escapes without injury. >> it's extremely remarkable that he didn't at least have some broken ribs or a broken skull or it didn't -- the sheer weight of it crush his chest cavity to where he couldn't even breathe period. >> even meena can't quite believe his luck. >> i kept asking them in the hospital is there sand in my lungs? no sand. everything checked out. perfectly healthy. my oxygen levels were normal. >> from now on, he'll follow the lifeguard's advice, no digging holes deeper than the height of your knee. a few days after being pulled from the sand, meena gets to meet some of the people who saved his life. >> this is brian and mike. these are the two lifeguards that were on the scene first.
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>> i was really thankful just for everybody that helped. the lifeguards and everything. >> mike helfide and jeff boyles are just relieved this rescue had such a happy outcome and that they reached meena in the nick of time. >> we're in california, but it's beyond the hollywood ending. >> when the dust settles and we still go to bed at night and hit the pillow, we're still human. if you rescue somebody, that day was a lot better than if you were unable to rescue somebody. coming up, trapped under a collapsed stage and struggling to survive. and later, when a man refuses to leave his sinking boat, he and the rescuer risk getting pulled under. when "caught on camera: nick of time" continues. you're driving through the woods
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concert goers run for their lives when a stage comes crashing down. >> i could see the stage teetering back and forth. that's when i really took off running. >> it's august 13th, 2011, and
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the band sugarland is about to take the stage at the indiana state fair. laura magjars, her three daughters and her mom are right at the front. 3-year-old maggie, the youngest, is a huge fan of the country music duo. she's even wearing a special tutu for the occasion. but there's a storm system rolling through the area. the sky above starts to look ominous as the crowd waits for the band to take the stage. >> just start seeing dark storm clouds. something told me get out of here. >> magjars tells her girls to start walking away from the stage. then a large gust of wind violently rocks the rigging. >> and i looked and i could see the beams sway. i picked up maggie and put my arm around the other two girls and i said run. >> natalie prater and her husband are also near the stage
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when the wires start to buckle and the stage begins to fall. >> started running and people were just pushing. my husband kept yelling stay standing. stay standing. afraid we were going to get trampled. >> from the grand stand, concert goers watch in horror as the stage comes crashing down right on to the crowd. >> she and her husband find themselves just feet from the wreckage. but laura magjars and little maggie are caught inside a maze of metal beams and wires. after momentarily blacking out, magjars comes to and sees that the leg is broken and maggie's arm is severely injured. >> all i saw was blood pouring out all over, so i held her as close to me as i could and screamed for help for my daughter. >> machinist david wood was near the stage earlier but made it out of the area seconds before the collapse. now he heads back into the wreckage.
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he doesn't realize he's capturing the chaotic scene on his iphone. >> i took my phone out initially to film their equipment on the stage moving back and forth. i still had it in my hand when i was climbing back in. >> oh, my god! oh, my god! >> after climbing through the metal bars, he sees magjars and her daughter maggie. >> stay still! stay still! are you guys okay? can you crawl out? >> prayter, who's a registered nurse, also comes rushing in to help, as stunned bystanders help prop up the rigging. >> i looked at her arm and it was badly injured. i was afraid that she had possibly severed an artery. and i knew she had lost a lot of blood. at that point i started calling out for a tourniquet. >> whether he hears prayter or not, david wood repeats the call. >> we need a tourniquet!
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>> wood doesn't waste a second. he takes his shirt off and drops it in maggie's lap. >> i took that and wrapped it around her arm and created a tourniquet. and pulled as tight as i could. >> wood calls for more help. >> we need a medic really bad for this little girl! right here! right here! i just gave her my shirt for a tourniquet. we got a doctor! watch out! we got a doctor! >> dr. robert klinestibar, a pulmonary and critical care specialist, who's at the concert with his family, immediately starts stabilizing maggie's arm. it's been less than two minutes since the stage fell. david wood's phone is still recording the scene as he turns to help another young man. and prayter stays with maggie. >> at that point, her mom said, you have to get her out of here. >> because of her broken leg, magjars can't move.
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>> so i handed my injured daughter over to a perfect stranger, but i knew i had no choice. >> prayter and others carry the girl out of the wreckage and on to the hospital. she's treated for a severe laceration to her arm and leg wound. luckily her artery isn't severed. magjars suffers multiple fractures to her leg. she's later reunited with her family at the hospital. at the fairgrounds, people continue to work to free the trapped and injured and secure the wreckage. in all, seven people are killed by the falling stage. more than 40 are injured. at home in northwestern indiana, maggie and her mom spend months recovering from their injuries. >> we were very lucky. i mean, even with our injuries and as scared as everybody was, i mean, we were actually some of the lucky ones.
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>> magjars says she's incredibly thankful for prayter and wood and all the others who rushed in to help maggie. >> if those people wouldn't have been in that place at that time, i don't think she would have made it to the hospital. i literally owe those people her life. coming up, firefighters dangle above a manhattan street during a daring rope rescue. >> i was afraid that he would jump before we got to him. >> when "caught on camera: nick of time" continues. can be yours for... twenty grand? -no! we are giving it away for just 3 easy payments of $4.99 plus tax! the lines are blowing up! we've got deborah from poughkeepsie. flo: yeah, no, it's flo. you guys realize anyone can use the "name your price" tool for free on, right? [ laughing nervously ] ♪ [ pickles whines ] i know, it's like they're always on television. what? heywhether to stay or go?re ♪
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hi, i'm richard lui with the top stories. another rowdy rally for donald trump, this time in tucson, arizona. the gop front-runner talked to voters ahead of tuesday's primary. cameras rolling as a protester was stomped on. all this capping off a day of demonstrations against trump.
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fountain hills protesters blocked the road leading to trump's rally. now back to "caught on camera." welcome back to "caught on camera." i'm contessa brewer. for firefighters in the city, rescues from tall buildings can pose enormous challenges and sometimes call for a little ingenuity. this next rescue near times square was not by the book, but it sure did become one great story. flames and smoke are overwhelming two men trapped in a high-rise and firefighters must make a daring attempt to try and save them. >> it was definitely going through my mind he may jump or fall. >> it's the morning of may 14th, 1991, near times square in new york city. a fire's broken out on the top floor of this building on 7th avenue and 48th street. the billowing smoke is caught on
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camera by news crews at street level and by ron pearlstein from his video production office directly across the street. >> i was sitting at my desk and i saw smoke. just a little smoke coming out of the window. then i saw more. i grabbed my camera, i started shooting. >> as pearlstein zooms in on the building, he sees a man perched on a window ledge trying to escape the thick smoke. >> i'm like, oh, my god, now this is a life or death situation. >> firefighters from the fdny rescue one unit arrive at the building joining other crews already on scene. patrick barr and kevin shay now both retired were with rescue one that day. >> there was people on the street yelling and pointing up towards the roof of the building. we knew we had to get up there as fast as we could. >> i was afraid he would jump
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before we got to him. >> he's moving further and further out on the ledge. >> i could hear the firemen saying stay calm, we're on our way up. >> we're on our way up. just stay there. >> by the time we got to the roof, i realized no one could get through the interior because there was such a large amount of fire. so they knew the only recourse was to get this guy from the roof. >> the firefighters from rescue one begin to prepare to lower barr by rope to grab the man. >> part of my equipment was the roof rope. so i brought it up, i would use it. it had to be by rope because the ladders wouldn't reach him. >> lieutenant patrick patty brown is in charge of the risky operation. he knows if the rope frays or gets burned, it could snap and anyone hanging over the edge could plummet to his death. as brown leans over the edge to assure the trapped man that help is on the way, barr creates a harness with the rescue rope and climbs onto the parapet wall. the man is now standing on the window ledge of the 12th floor, looking like he's ready to jump
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to escape the growing heat and smoke. >> people will not burn to death. if they can jump, they'll jump. it's that painful and it's like you're drowning in smoke. >> barr is not yet anchored to anyone or anything. but he kicks his legs over the edge almost 200 feet above the ground to reassure the man in the window. >> barr is already hanging over the roof without having a rope attached to anything, letting him know not to jump, we were on our way. >> quickly shay attaches the other end of barr's rope to his own harness. >> i would be the anchor and i could grab something or somebody could grab me. >> this isn't normal procedure. typically firefighters will find a secure, stationary place to attach the rope. but with the fire spreading rapidly, they need to move fast. >> time was running out. i'm not going to let the guy jump. guy's not jumping while i'm working. period.
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>> lieutenant brown assures barr the firefighters on the roof have his back. >> he just said, we're not going to drop you. we won't let you go. >> while other firefighters hold him down, shay lets out rope and begins slowly lowering barr. within seconds, barr is face to face with the trapped man. >> he was very exhausted and he was surprised to see me. >> standing in the smoke-filled window with the fire closing in, music producer jose giagos had been close to giving up in the seconds before barr appeared. >> i thought i was going to die. suddenly i hear a very loud voice. don't jump. don't jump. i'm here. and kind of caught my attention. and then, again, look up, look up. i open my eyes and i look up and i saw the boots and somebody
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coming down. it was like an angel. >> barr tells giagos to grab on to him. >> when he jumped on to me, he felt very weak and wasn't holding on to me too tight. so i grabbed him with my arms and legs. i didn't want to lose him. >> with barr holding tight to giagos, the pair is lowered to the floor below. where they spin and wait. >> there was so much going on in the building that no one realized i was out there. so that's when i hit the windows to alert them i was outside. and finally somebody noticed i was out there and that's when everybody came together and pulled me in. >> with giagos safely inside the building, barr turns to acknowledge the cheering crowds below. >> they didn't know who the victim was. they didn't know who i was. they realized somebody just saved somebody's life. they appreciated that.
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>> i don't think that's a fireman, guys. >> but the rescue operation is far from over. there's actually a second man trapped on the other side of the floor. >> as i was bringing the rope back, looked to my right and i could see the fire going up past the parapet wall, and that's when i knew that they didn't have control of the fire yet and that the second victim was going to be another roof rescue. >> once a rope has been used, it's supposed to be put out of service. but they only have one rope on the roof. and now it's slightly frayed from the first rescue. the firefighters decide to move forward anyway. >> i didn't have a choice. and i attached myself again and i went over the other side. >> shay, fresh from anchoring the rope on the first rescue, is slowly lowered down to the window where the second victim peter lewis is waiting. >> i can see the smoke and fire coming out the top of the door
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behind him. so we're really concerned. we've got to get this done quickly before the rope goes. >> with one eye on the top of the door, shay tells lewis to wrap his arms around his neck and his legs around the waist. as he steps off the ledge, shay hugs lewis close. they're lowered down to the floor below where more firefighters pull them in. >> relief came when we got pulled in. >> both giagos and lewis are taken to the hospital and treated for smoke inhalation. it takes the fdny another hour to control the fire. afterwards, shay and barr talk to a local reporter. >> you're looking at two guys, high profile. it could have been anybody. a lot of heros up there. you only see us. it's a lot of guys, a whole team. >> he was first. i'm just fast.
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it's nothing that anybody wouldn't have done. >> is this the reason you became a fireman in the first place? >> no. it's the whole reason. the whole reason. >> an exhausted by elated patty brown weighs in. >> so proud of these two guys. 50 years on the job, the most courageous thing i ever saw. right, patty? >> in the decade that follows this amazing rescue, the men of rescue one and the fdny continue to serve the city of new york. but sadly three of the firefighters who came to the aid of jose and peter lewis in 1991 that day are killed at the world trade center on september 11, 2001. patty brown promoted to captain. kevin dowdell. and patrick o'keefe. the loss is felt by their families and colleagues and also by jose giagos who developed a lasting friendship with the men
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who saved his life. >> i don't have any words to express how i feel about these guys. they live in my heart. i carry them in a very special part of my heart. >> although he now lives in his native colombia, he has come back to the building where he once feared his life would end. >> it was very hot. there was a lot of smoke coming out of all the windows. >> and we have a surprise waiting for him. on the corner of 7th avenue and 48th street. >> oh, man. >> hi. >> it's kevin shay now retired and living in montana. shay and giagos haven't seen each other for many years. >> what a crazy surprise. i'm so happy to see you.
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>> yes. it's a great surprise. >> for these two men, the experience on the 12th floor of this building has created a bond that will never fade away. >> doesn't it feel much better once you know you're not alone? >> oh, yes. >> almost everything feels better when you know you're not alone. >> yes, yes, yes. coming up, a man swims right up to a whale in a bold attempt to save its life. when "caught on camera: nick of time" continues. e world needs vs [tires screeching] and villains need cars. ♪ you know the symptoms when they start. abdominal pain. diarrhea. xifaxan can help. prescription xifaxan is a 2-week treatment that can provide you with 6 to 24 weeks of relief from your ibs-d symptoms. specifically, relief from diarrhea
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(burke) and we covered it, october twenty-seventh, 2014. talk to farmers. we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪ [engines revving] you can't have a hero, if you don't have a villain. the world needs villains [tires screeching] and villains need cars. ♪ a man risks his own life when he dives into the water to free a whale trapped in a fishing net. >> that was an extremely intimidating and potentially
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dangerous place to be working. >> conservationist michael fishbach is the codirector of the great whale conservancy. he travels to mexico sea of cortez for two months every winter to photograph and observe some of the largest animals in the world, blue, fin, and humpback whales. on february 14th, 2011, he's out on the water with his wife heather watrous, 5-year-old son galen, and friends, george and whitney brazington. they're headed for a beach when he sees something in the distance. >> it looked to me sort of like part of a tree trunk floating in the desert where there are no large tree trunks ever floating in the water. and as we approached very, very slowly at that point, i could start to see floats on the water that were part of a net. >> the group discovered that tangled in that net is a young humpback whale. >> i was pretty convinced that it was dead because we did not
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see an ounce of movement. nothing. >> but then a breath. the humpback is alive, but unable to move. >> i could see that this whale was horribly, horribly entangled. just like in a straight jacket. 19 years on the water i've never seen anything like this. you have to make a decision. are you going to try to intervene yourself? physically intervening, certainly, carries a risk. >> fishbach and the group can't turn their backs on the animal. they radio the mexican authorities but know it could take hours if not days for someone to arrive, and by then it could be too late. fishbach takes a quick dip in the water to assess the situation under the surface. then he returns to the boat for a knife like this one. he wants to try cutting some of the net free. it's a decision that seems to make his son galen nervous. >> daddy's going to try to help it, galen. [ crying ] >> i'm scared. >> it's okay, honey. >> galen, it's okay.
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>> the camera is rolling as he approaches the 40,000 to 50,000-pound humpback. >> i got within roughly one foot of the eyeball of this humpback just trying to reassure i was there to help. very extraordinary to have that moment. >> fishbach is able to cut some of the net free from the animal's back. >> how's it working, michael? >> when he tries to continue cutting along the side of the whale, it becomes clear that's not the right choice. >> he's freaking out. i got his -- i got his dorsal fin free, that's it. his pecks and flukes are screwed. >> it's now safer to work on the net from on board the boat. fishbach hands over the knife to george who continues to cut where he can.
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>> you've got to cut everything you can. >> fishbach and the boat's captain, alberto, haul the excess net aboard, holding tight, and repositioning the boat with a paddle whenever the whale shifts in the water. >> we were just grabbing and pulling and cutting and in the context of our cutting, things were getting freed and loose. >> they managed to free one of the whale's pectoral fins, which can be seen momentarily jutting out of the water. no longer completely immobile, but still attached to the net on the boat, the whale begins to swim. >> we're being taken for a ride by a whale. >> whenever the whale surfaces, the group continues to cut. by now there's a heap of netting aboard the boat. >> just make sure none of us get tangled. >> yeah. let's make sure none of your legs are stuck in there. >> the greatest risk we faced was being ensnared, as much as a finger or toe, in that net when the whale decides to go down and
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breathe. >> watch out, watch out, watch out. >> hold it. grab that. grab that tight. grab that tight. >> the three men remain clear of the net and after about an hour of work, the group has managed to free most of the whale. with the whale becoming more active, it looks like it's time to make the final cut. >> so close. >> did you get it? >> see? >> yeah! >> yeah! >> as the whale slowly swims away, it's a moment to celebrate. [ laughter ] >> we saved a humpback whale. >> fishbach says this wouldn't have been possible if they hadn't intervened when they did. >> there's no question about the fact this whale would have died. it was so imprisoned in this net, i really don't think it would have lasted another 24 hours. >> a minute or so after it swims off, the whale breaches and the
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show doesn't stop there. >> we saw this incredibly exuberant display by this humpback whale over the course of the next 45 minutes to an hour. it was awesome. >> fishbach's son galen thinks he knows why the whale was putting on this amazing display. >> mom, i know what she's doing. >> what is she doing? >> she's showing us she's all free. >> yeah. i think she's showing us a thank-you dance. >> i think so, galen. another daring rescue. this time from a sinking boat. croatia, september 19, 2010. strong currents have stranded 56-year-old ivan plevnik in the middle of the river. after firefighters spend hours trying to tow the boat and him to shore, reenforcements are brought in.
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a rescuer is lowered down to pull plevnik to safety. but it becomes clear he doesn't want to leave his boat. as the rescuer tries to convince the skipper that his only way out is up, water begins rushing over the stern of the boat. >> plevnik is finally persuaded to leave but is it too late? the boat is quickly getting sucked under the churning water. plevnik and his rescuer start to get pulled under as well. frightening seconds pass. but just in the nick of time, they make their escape. plevnik is uninjured. and he returns to the water a few weeks later when his boat is pulled out of the river.
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coming up, rescuers must get to a woman trapped on a sheer cliff, a 500-foot drop below. >> that was not a fall that anyone survives. >> when "caught on camera: nick of time" continues. the medical bills all piled up. so i signed up for experian. they helped educate me on how debt affected my fico score. now my credit and i - are both healing nicely. go to and start your credit tracker trial membership today.
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a terrified woman clings to the side of a cliff while rescuers rush to reach her. >> her time was running out. >> that was not a fall that anyone could survive. >> september 22, 2011. los angeles county sheriff's department air five rescue unit receives an urgent call. a female climber is stuck high on eagle rock on topanga state park.
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how did she end up in such a precarious position? the sheriff's department found she started climbing down the rock face without ropes or climbing gear before realizing it was just too steep. now she can't get back up. the department has blurred her face because she asked not to be identified. >> she was at a pretty steep angle tucked away in a little ledge. below her was probably a 500-foot drop. straight down. on the rocks. so she was definitely in a situation that i wouldn't want to be in. >> the woman's been frozen in this spot for nearly two hours. her climbing partner was able to scramble up the rock and eventually get a cell phone signal to call 911. he also threw down a small rope that couldn't have held her weight, but would give her something to hold on to for reassurance. the sun is starting to set and
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the rescue team has to work quickly. sergeant barth begins lowering deputy paramedic mark demarto toward the woman. both men are wearing helmet cameras. >> as soon as i left the bird, i started to spin due to the wash. i needed to stop this spin as fast as i can and get it stopped in a safe manner away from our victim. >> he doesn't want to accidentally bump into the woman and knock her off the rock face. >> i was able to point out a spot on the cliff where i could safely stop my spinning. basically, it's a flintstone maneuver. you stick your feet out and stop. then get to the task at hand and complete the rescue. >> but demarto is still getting pushed away from the rock by the wind kicked up by the helicopter's rotor. he uses hand signals to barth. after swinging past the woman a couple times, he is able to grab hold of the rock. >> i'm using the force to keep him pinned.
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>> i was able to get enough footing where i could kind of do a crunch and get my body close to her. >> demarto is screaming to the woman not to let go as he gets the rescue strap technically called the stroke ready. >> i don't want her to change anything until i get get that rescue strope on her. >> she's too terrified to let go of the rock face. >> she'd been hanging on to that rock face for two hours. she didn't want to let go. she had her hand attached to that little piece of granite in the cave area there. trust me, she had a death grip on it. i had to pry her fingers off that granite twice. >> demarto is able to slip the rescue strope around the woman. once the woman is firmly attached to him, demarto gives barth a quick signal and up they
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go. the woman clings to demarto. >> she had a bear hug on me. she wanted off that cliff in a bad way. >> within seconds, they've reached the helicopter. the crew pulls the woman in followed by demarto. >> she was thanking me before i was even able to get the rescue strope off. >> only later does the sheriff's department learn that the woman is anemic and was close to losing consciousness and falling off the cliff face. >> she said she was trying to think of a way to stay conscious. she started screaming and singing songs just trying to not lose consciousness. as she started singing the songs about being rescued, she sees the helicopter come into view, almost like it's a dream. >> lucky for her, that was no dream. just another very real rescue team coming for her in the nick of time. i'm contessa brewer. that's all for this edition of
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"caught on camera." announcer: due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. ♪ >> this is really scary. but i just stay in my bunk and just mind my business. >> it's like a fish in a tank full of sharks. >> a new inmate fears the worst. >> being in a gang is not something that i choose to run behind. it's a choice that i made and something that i joined. >> a gang member asked for help to change his li


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