tv Caught on Camera MSNBC August 19, 2012 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
to send us, you can logon to our website, caughtoncamera.msnbc.com. i'm contessa brewer. that's it for this edition of "caught on camera." "caught on camera: terror at sea." cruise ships run aground. >> it was an actual scene out of the "titanic" movie. >> vacationers fight for their lives. >> let's not get excited. >> he's rocking the boat. please, don't rock this. >> when a barge mows down a boat full of sightseers. >> my poor little daughter didn't have any idea what to do. >> a tourist is blasted by a rogue wave. and a day trip turns disastrous. these unsuspecting victims all struggle to keep their heads
above water. "caught on camera: overboard." a catastrophic collision just off the coast of italy leaves about 4,200 passengers and crew on this luxury liner fearing for their lives. january, 2012. it's about 9:30 at night on friday the 13th when the captain of the "costa concordia" steers his ship off course, sailing too close to the shore, slamming into giant rocks. newlyweds david and denise are sitting down for dinner, just two hours into their honeymoon cruise. >> when we got our appetizer, we only got to taste one bite when
we felt the crash. there was people going crazy. i looked back and i saw chairs and tables coming up our way. and all the plates were falling down, all the glasses. the waiters and waitresses were screaming and crying. >> just everything was chaos. people were running, and little children, they had had no idea what was going on. we didn't really have any idea what was going on because they were telling us it's an electrical problem. >> ladies and gentlemen, your attention, please. i speak on behalf of the captain. we are experiencing electrical failure. at this point, the situation is under control. >> this crew member tells a frightened crowd that everything is okay.
>> since they were saying that, it was under control, we started to wander around the ship. we went to the top deck to see what it looked like from outside. and i filmed. >> soon it becomes obvious that things are not under control. the ship is listing. just before 11:00, alarm sounds to evacuate. passengers gather and wait. >> there we waited for about half an hour. people were very anxious to get into the life rafts. >> but from the deck where the life rafts are stowed, the passengers can see the ship is actually looming over them. >> i was afraid to get into the life raft because the cruise ship continued to tilt and my fear was that the cruise ship would collapse on top of us. >> let's go, please. one, two, three, four, five. >> in almost total darkness, david says their life boat
swings violently to one side. this video taken from inside a crowded life boat shows it dropping and careening towards the cruise ship. >> i thought that our life boat was going to flip over into the ocean and then we would just drown in it because it's a closed boat. so, that was the most scary part for me. >> their boat gets stuck while it's still attached to the cruise ship. passengers are asked to help. >> they ask us to pull the rope and then it falls down the other side very, very violently and that's when i could literally hear my heart beat. >> eventually, they reach the water. >> we hear the splash and when we hear we go to the water and everybody started clapping. after that, it took about maybe three minutes to get to the port. >> while they make it out by life boat, this video taken by the italian coast guard shows other passengers and crew
escaping down the side of the doomed vessel. once safe onshore, the saba see hundreds of discarded life jackets, and as a body is taken away, the gravity of the situation becomes clear. >> we did not realize people were dying until we were on the ferry and we saw some of the people being carried away, all covered up. but i still did not realize it. i think it was probably the adrenaline trying to keep me from panicking. >> daylight reveals the huge rocks had torn a 160-foot gash in the $500 billion cruise liner. divers begin their search for survivors. the sabas and the rest of the world learn that the boat's captain left the boat while many others were still onboard. the captain said he slipped off the ship's deck and fell into a life boat. he said he tried to make his way back, but couldn't. listen as a coast guard official demands that the captain return
to his boat. >> listen, schettino, there are people trapped onboard. get onboard and report to how many people there are. is this clear? get going, there are already corpses, schettino, move. how many how many dead are there? you need to be telling me this. it is dark and we can't see anything. get on the bow of the ship and tell me how many people there are and what do they need. now! 30 bodies are recovered. two people are still missing. and presumed dead. captain schettino is arrested and faces charges including manslaughter, abandoning ship and causing a ship wreck. he denies any wrongdoing. after a night with no sleep, david, denise and many other passengers are taken to a hotel in rome where they stay while they figure out how to get back home. >> our original passports are
>> under the sea. >> -- under the sea. we had to go to the american embassy. we had to go to the brazilian embassy to get her passport, as well. >> after a long ordeal, a reunion back home in florida with family and friends. they will refund passengers for travel expenses, medical expenses and the cost of the cruise and trying to return personal belongings. i lost my best clothes. i lost ply computer where i had all of my pictures from years and years. >> but for david and denise, the emotional toll far outweighs the cost of replacing their lost belongings. >> it was a traumatizing experience. >> i am probably still in shock. it's hard to realize that you were in such a tragedy where people died and thank god we were very lucky. coming up, a high-risk rescue to pull the tourist from an underwater cave.
a tourist is trapped inside this half submerged cave. >> you see this little head pop out. and the next that came in washed him right back in. >> he is in danger of drowning and is fighting for his life. here on the hawaiian islands, water caves are pretty common. and local fishermen know this is one of oahu's most dangerous. >> heed the warning. do not go next to the water when it's rough. >> it's called the moi hole and
at 20 feet deep, it's home to lurking sharks and giant waves. waves that crash into the cave and explode on to the cliffs above. january 25, 1993. during the heart of the winter vacation season, local tv producer jerry cayman follows the sound of sirens to the moi hole and takes his camera out to record the scene. >> moi hole is very treacherous. the rocks alone, which are all lava rocks, are razor sharp. >> swimmer in distress. moi hole area. >> cayman quickly learns this a tourist who was sight seeing and posing for pictures with a friend has been knocked off this cliff by a rogue wave. a rescue is under way to save the man trapped inside the cave. >> whomever was trapped inside the cave was too scared to come out. and, quite frankly, we thought the poor guy was going to drown. >> a crowd gathers. the situation looks grim. no one is sure if the trapped
tourist who has been identified as hugh alexander is still alive. >> they're yelling down below. can you hear us? are you okay? can you hear us? yell back at us. no answer. we all assumed the poor guy was dead. we were waiting for a body to come up. >> from the same spot hugh was swept off earlier waves continue to smash over the rocks, putting everyone here at risk. alexander appears for the first time in a desperate attempt to reach a lifeline. >> that gave us a lot of hope. we knew at that point that he was alive. >> but he mistimes his exit and swims directly into an avalanche of water. >> and the next set came and just washed him right back in. >> it's a devastating defeat, as he's swallowed back into the cave and trapped in the
thrashing whirlpool of water and foam. life guards from the nearby beach rush to the scene on a wave runner. they're trained to combat the monstrous hawaiian waves. but have never had to fight anything like this before. to attempt the rescue, it takes two guys. one to drive and one to swim. they know that one mistake could mean smashing into the sharp rocks and becoming victims themselves. as high tide approaches, they do their best to time lulls between the swells and get close enough to grab alexander. watch how the life guard tethered to the wave runner is at the mercy of the sea. >> so, they had to quickly shoot out of the cove and wait for the next lull before they could come back in and this went on for, it seemed like an eternity.
>> in fact, after more than two hours of harrowing close calls, they're still no closer to a rescue. hugh alexander is now exhausted trying to stay afloat and alive. and then -- >> hey, no. hey! >> conditions seem right for another rescue attempt, and alexander appears for the second time. as the life guards swoop in, you can hear the cheers from the relieved crowd from up above. but it's not over yet. >> all of a sudden we saw the victim come out of the cave, the life guard grabbed him and got on to the jet ski and they took off, only to fall off the back end because of another swell that washed him off. >> it's a nightmare that just won't end. luckily, this time there's a life guard tethered to a life ring and alexander has the help he needs to survive.
>> fortunately they held on this time. they managed to get out before the next big set came in. >> cut, cold, exhausted, but alive. alexander is taken to the beach for medical attention, and later recounts his ordeal. >> i had cuts above and below my eyes and under my chin. for two and a half hours i was sure i was going to die. just like being tossed around in a washing machine. >> miraculously, he suffers only minor injuries. but the trauma he endures is certainly not fleeting. >> the lesson is, you don't know when your last day is going to be, so you might as well live each day as fully as you can. >> and for locals, it's a reminder of just how dangerous and disarming this beautiful island can be. >> hawaii is a beautiful place to live, even if you live here on the island, you never turn your back on the ocean because a swell can come up, a freak swell can come up and just wash you in even without you expecting it.
even on a beautiful day like today. coming up -- >> i couldn't believe that we were about to die. >> a 15-minute sightseeing loop on the river turns into a chaotic fight for survival. >> hey, ferry, ferry, whoa, whoa, whoa! [ male announcer ] what's in your energy drink? ♪ power surge, let it blow your mind. [ male announcer ] for fruits, veggies and natural green tea energy... new v8 v-fusion plus energy. could've had a v8.
an amphibious duck boat is full of passengers, but broken down and anchored in the river. it's supposed to be a fun, 15-minute sightseeing loop on land and water when things go terribly wrong. everyone onboard watches as this huge barge maintains a steady course directly at them until it blasts over their boat. tourists in philadelphia looking to see the city from a different vantage point get onboard the ride the ducks duck boat. tourists, like kevin grace and
his 9-year-old daughter, ruby. >> my daughter and i were taking a daughter/daddy trip and part of the trip brought us through philadelphia. >> they decide to take a ride on the duck boat. >> it was a novel experience for both of us. >> are you having a good time, gang? >> this commercial for ride the ducks shows everyone onboard enjoying the tour from the streets to the river, on what is typically a care-free and exciting experience. but on july 7, 2010, at about 2:30 in the afternoon, this footage shows the duck boat sitting in the delaware river in the middle of an active shipping channel after problems with the boat's engine. >> the smell i was smelling when we first got in the river was kind of getting stronger. >> the engine overheats, and the captain drops anchor at about 55 feet. >> then the smoke started pouring out of that small
opening down below and the captain put duct tape on it and i kind of made a joke out of duct tape on a duck boat. at the same time i was like, man, this can't be good. and somebody said, does this barge see us? >> at first, it looks like the duck boat is all alone in the risk, but it's not. a 250-foot behemoth is heading directly towards them at a steady five miles per hour and appears not to see them. >> it was kind of a gradual wave of panic for not only me, but for everybody else. you know, my main thing was, i got to get my daughter out of this danger. so, i jumped up and the captain is screaming, whoa, whoa, whoa on his radio. >> hey, ferry, ferry, ferry, whoa, whoa, whoa! >> fruitless efforts are made to contact the operator of the tugboat, towing the empty steel barge riding high in the water. >> i couldn't believe that we
were about to die. it just didn't seem any way possible to survive something as tall as a three-story building just mowing us over out on the middle of a river. >> only a few minutes go by before kevin, his daughter, ruby, and everyone else onboard realize the inevitable. >> we started grabbing for life preservers. such chaos on there. and, you know, my poor little daughter didn't have any idea what to do. so, i did as best i could to get us to where we could at least have a chance, and i look up and i see the first mate already jumped off the boat and he's already swimming for it. i'm like, oh, my gosh. >> kevin and ruby don't have time to put on a life jacket. the barge slams into the duck boat, as if swallowing it whole.
>> people were screaming, people were barking orders at each other. people were wimpering and crying and panicking. there was just absolutely sheer terror, just sheer, sheer terror. >> terror combined with the sound that kevin will never forget. >> the screeching of the metal. i mean, it was just -- i never heard a sound like that. it's metal just screeching against metal. we got dumped into the water. we never jumped. there was a lot of people underwater with us and it was like being in a coke bottle being shaken up with a lot of stuff inside of it. >> with kevin and ruby overboard, the duck boat now capsized, kevin is determined not to lose his daughter. >> i just grabbed as much hair as i could. i knew i could keep a good grip of her hair and keep her near me
and i knew that that way we'd be together if we died. >> kevin says he and ruby are pushed deep under the water. >> when we came up and the barge was not on top of us, it was truly, you know, an unbelievable experience of divine intervention. for me, it was like as if it swept us out to the river to prevent that from happening. to all of those people, i couldn't believe that all these people were all around us. the boat was gone. >> but kevin and ruby's ordeal isn't over. almost immediately they get sucked under the water for a second time. >> and this time i didn't have ruby's hair. and so i popped up and looked around and she wasn't there yet. and just as i was beginning to start to panic, i guess i was already panicking, but where is she?
where is she? and then she popped up. >> they swim for their lives. >> i was very, very proud of her. what a great kid! she swam very confidently. she didn't need me there, at that point. >> this is freedom, we have people in the water. looks like they got run over by a barge. one of the duck boats. i'm going to pick them up. >> the crash claims the lives of two hungarian students, szabolcs prem and dora schwendtner. but somehow 35 people are pulled to safety. many need medical attention, including ruby, who suffers from shock. in philadelphia, the mayor holds a press conference. >> this is a very serious situation and we're going to do everything we can to, obviously, get to the bottom of it. >> investigators at the national transportation safety board
issue a press release and determine that matthew devlin, the tugboat operator towing the barge, hit the duck boat because of distractions while using his cell phone and computer to deal with a family emergency. according to the reports, during the minutes leading up to the crash devlin left his post in the upper wheel house of the tug boat and his vision of anything in front of him were completely obscured by the barge. >> anything you want to say at all? >> not at this time. >> devlin pleads guilty to one count of misconduct of a ship operator resulting in death and is sentenced to a year and a day in prison. ride the ducks' president, chris herschend defends the captain of the boat who follows protocol. >> it's my understanding that our captain followed all of his train, all of the coast guard train, all of the regulations required of a captain in that situation. >> nearly two years after the incident a civil lawsuit filed by it victims and families
results in a $17 million settlement. for kevin, that day in july changed his outlook on life forever. >> oh, my gosh. it was, it was kind of like a second chance on life. really, in a way. it's something i think about every day. but, yeah, i certainly feel lucky to be alive and i'm more lucky that my daughter's alive. coming up -- a fishing trip brings big fish and even bigger problems. a hole in the boat. >> look out, you guys. >> rocking the boat, please, don't rock this! [ male announcer ] it's simple physics... a body at rest tends to stay at rest... while a body in motion tends to stay in motion. staying active can actually ease arthritis symptoms. but if you have arthritis, staying active can be difficult.
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shot by a man wearing an afghan police uniform. this year alone, 38 nato service members or contractors have been killed by afghan counterparts. 9-year-old boy killed in lightning strikes on the shores of lake superior. four other people were injured in the same incident after a family tried to take shelter from a rapidly approaching thunderstorm. and now let's back to "caught on camera. " it's a fishing trip to remember with what looks like a catch of a lifetime. >> feeling good. >> feeling good! >> easy. >> easy stuff. >> but it's about to go all wrong. >> may day. may day! >> here's johnny boy. >> yeah. we're in alaska! >> july 7, 1999 in america's last frontier.
>> this is as pure as it gets. >> brothers john and bob dubois from mission viejo, california. charter a deep sea fishing boat for a little vacation adventure. >> the first tal bet on the boat. >> on this overcast day in alaska inland, the water is providing a bountiful catch for the six tourists on board this steel fishing boat. >> here's another one coming up. >> but their luck begins to change from big fish to big trouble. >> everybody get one of those on, please. >> turns out the motor located under the deck has malfunctioned and broken apart. its metal pieces ripping a hole in the boat. >> we were just having fun with the camera back and forth. and then it evolved into much more. i just kept the camera running. >> one of the diesel as apparently sheered a shaft and
we're taking on water. along with an electrical problem. we lost the radio communication. >> to make matters worse, the gps is shot, and there's no chance of using the ship's radio to call for help. >> fill be up the zodiac right now with some air. we're all going to pile in there. >> can you hear me? >> this is really unbelievable. >> bob calmly narrates the scene as emergency preparations are executed. meanwhile, his brother, john, is trying to make a distress call from his cell phone. he climbs high on the boat, but reception is still bad. >> we're sinking. we're taking on water, we're out on a vessel. >> seven miles south of flat island. >> seven miles south of flat island. >> we don't have a line right now. we need somebody now. >> we knew this thing was not going to stop leaking. i mean, it was going down. >> by now, all six passengers and two crew onboard realize they only have minutes to
abandon ship. >> hello. hello. >> we're all going to get in that. >> we got everything. through here. >> it's like whitewater rafting. one leg over the side, one leg in. >> okay. >> that way everybody should fit. >> all right. >> all right. >> everyone should fit, but it's going to be a tight squeeze. as the passengers and crew gently get into the raft, no one knows if the distress call got through. and now that they're in the raft, cell phone service is gone for good. >> now i got no service on it. john, do you think we got through enough? >> don't make any rapid movements. >> want some water. there's some water coming in. >> john, if you can, why don't you bring something just in case we need to bail this thing out. >> they're talking about bringing a pump in case water breaches the rubber raft. good thinking because, sure enough, the castaways almost immediately notice a hole.
>> that feels like there's -- >> a hole? >> yeah. but it feels like we had the plug out of the raft. >> so, at that point, i knew, you know, now our time is limited. >> tensions are rising a so is the 40 degree water. inside the raft. hypothermia is a grave concern. and there's more danger in store. >> good thing the water's not rough today. >> within minutes of abandoning ship, its stern starts to sink, and the ship rears vertically up and heads towards them. >> look out, you guys. it's coming this way. >> the bow was sticking straight up and i said, hey, watch out. you know, the boat is going to come this way. i thought it was going to swamp us. >> irene is sinking. >> push the water in, don't do that. >> push the water in. don't do that.
>> we're taking on watt, guys. >> there was a couple of the passengers actually one in particular that she was really getting uneasy. so, we tried, we tried to calm her down. >> water coming in. guys. we're taking on water. >> just relax. the pontoons are not going to sink. they'll keep us afloat. careful. >> then, suddenly, a heroic move that no one expects. >> grab that igloo. >> he's pumping. >> captain john ferrule realizes if he leaves the crowded raft everyone else on board will have a better chance of surviving. to keep as dry as possible, he uses a floating boat bumper to help swim to what remains of the bow of his boat. >> i think all of us were in disbelief at that point. it was like he truly wants to be the captain that goes down with
his boat. >> wait a minute. >> don't, please. don't move, please. >> take it easy. >> don't make any rapid movement. >> i'm up to my chest in water. >> you're okay. >> you guys need to distribute yourselves. so the washington, there's room in the bow. >> then, a sign of hope. they spot a fishing boat in the distance. >> i think we need to shoot a flare. what do you think, john? >> try to shoot the gun. >> straight up, john? >> yep. >> not straight up. away from us. >> exactly, away from us. >> oh, great. >> the flare disappears unnoticed in the overcast sky. >> they're meant for night, i believe. >> we have one orange flare. want to save it for when we need it. >> rescue now depends on john's
911 call that he made from his cell phone just minutes before their boat sank, and no one knows how much information got through to authorities. >> i mean, we all know, we all have cell phones. most of the time, they don't work right outside your house. >> more than an hour has gone by and tensions are at a breaking point. out of desperation, john tries his cell phone again. >> please, give me two bars or something. may day! may day! >> when suddenly a welcome noise in the distance. the distress call did get through. >> all eyes were on the airplane. we could see it drop down a little lower and made a 90- degree turn and started heading right towards us and we're like, yeah! >> our tax dollars at work! whoo-hoo! >> the spotter plane is followed ten minutes later by a coast guard rescue helicopter. >> he opted to back off, drop down and then the diver went in and the diver, man, that guy was quite a swimmer. i mean, he had to swim, you
know, 100 yards over to us and then he comes up to the boatnd he goes, okay, who wants to be the first one? >> one by one, the seven on the raft are lifted to safety. bob is second to last. >> the whole side of that raft was completely deflated by the time i got off. so, our timing couldn't have been better, and then looking over at the captain as that boat continued to sink, he was getting to his last rail. >> the helicopter has reached its weight limit and they have to call a second helicopter to rescue captain john ferule. he's forced to wait another ten long minutes, clinging to that last rung above water until -- >> he dropped the basket right on top of the boat and john got in, and i'll never forget as the helicopter went by, you could clearly see the silhouette of the boat underwater, and then as it just continued to sink into the abyss. so, the timing really turned out, i mean, absolutely perfect
in a way. not a moment to spare. >> the entire fishing party is brought to shore for medical attention and released soon after. to add insult to injury. >> my brother probably caught the biggest fish of his life and it was in the ice chest and, of course, it never did wind up back home. >> despite the brothers' ordeal, they go out fishing the very next day and, this time, don't leave empty handed. and when the coast guard returns irene's life ring to captain ferule, they are told that on this fishing trip, they are fortunate to be the ones that got away. >> we talked to the coast guard. they said, you guys have no idea how lucky you are. he said, you know, typically this is not a rescue mission. this is just a trip to go collect the bodies. coming up -- what's supposed
to be a pleasant afternoon on a rental boat is anything but. and a dream vacation turns deadly. hi, i'm phil mickelson. i've been fortunate to win on golf's biggest stages. but when joint pain and stiffness from psoriatic arthritis hit, even the smallest things became difficult. i finally understood what serious joint pain is like. i talked to my rheumatologist and he prescribed enbrel. enbrel can help relieve pain, stiffness, and stop joint damage. because enbrel, etanercept, suppresses your immune system, it may lower your ability to fight infections. serious, sometimes fatal events including infections, tuberculosis, lymphoma, other cancers, and nervous system and blood disorders have occurred. before starting enbrel, your doctor should test you for tuberculosis and discuss whether you've been to a region where certain fungal infections are common. don't start enbrel if you have an infection like the flu. tell your doctor if you're prone to infections, have cuts or sores, have had hepatitis b, have been treated for heart failure, or if, while on enbrel, you experience persistent fever,
a 25-foot power boat loaded with people is taking on water and drifting towards disaster. as their dire situation unfolds, a local fisherman captures it all on camera. passengers scream for help as they jump for their lives. april 6, 1997, ft. lauderdale, florida. a sunday afternoon and a busy day on the intercoastal waterway. 11 people, including 3 children,
ages 7, 9 and 12, are out for a pleasure cruise. they rent this bayliner motor boat, but something goes wrong. a large wake from another vessel has washed over the side and now the partially submerged boat is caught in a 12-mile-an-hour current. the man who is steering guns the engine, but has no control. the passengers know they're in trouble, but the real danger isn't immediately obvious until, suddenly, it's too late. they're on a collision course with the construction barge that's tied to the bridge. an adult onboard tries to push them away from the barge, but he's no match for the weight of the boat and the power of the current. the bayliner is forced under the steel bow of the barge as passengers jump for their lives, a man tosses this young girl overboard. she's wearing a life jacket, but some of the others aren't. as their boat smashes into the barge, it's crushed and in less
than 30 seconds, disappears into the water. keith young. >> it was people screaming for their moms, their dads, screaming for help and just a shriek of a voice. it was just horrible sounding. >> young and his five-man coast guard patrol are coincidently just a few hundred yards away. >> we noticed that it was going so low in the water the prop was barely touching it and shooting like a fire hose out of the back end. >> they rush to the scene and know they have to act, and fast. coast guard crewman frank morrow. >> as we got here, we pulled in this way and we saw the people drifting underneath the barge. 90% of the body was under the barge. all we saw was their heads yelling for help. i concentrated on one little girl that caught my eye. >> ignoring his own safety, in full uniform and loaded down with steel-toed boots, jumps in
straight for the girl, who is hidden from the camera's view behind the barng. >> trying to keep myself from going under the barge, once i gabbed her, slide along the barge with the current. >> but as he grabs the girl, three other panicked people grab him. >> my back was up against the barge, i held on. he saves the four people and by now other coast guard officers have jumped in, including dwight hagans who goes after another person struggling to survive. >> in the front of the barge, i could see some color shirt, i was like, maybe i could swim over and grab this shirt and get this person out. but once i got over to try to get to that shirt, i got caught in the current and sucked under the barge. >> spectators stand by helplessly as hagan is sucked under and finds himself fighting for his own life. >> i was so tired. i put my arms down, i said, i can't go on no more. i said, i'm too tired. i thought i was dead. i closed my eyes and i prayed as hard as i could.
i said, lord, get plea out from under here, please get me out. and i put my arms up and i felt another barge and i pulled with everything i had. >> with some help from other boaters nearby, hagans finds the strength to get himself and a woman to safety, but the distraught woman knows others are still missing and waits for news about the rest of her group. >> how many do you have? >> eight. >> two people, a 62-year-old man and his wife, drown. the nine other passengers, including all three children, are pulled to safety. >> they know that we did everything we could and i did everything i could. you know, the odds was against us. but we did a pretty good job. coming up -- >> well, my best friend was hysterical and most of the other students were hysterical. >> panicked passengers scramble for safety when a cruise ship
july 2008, 400 miles off the coast of new zealand, video caught from a camera behind the bar of the pacific sun shows passengers and crew literally swept off their feet at the mercy of the ocean's swells. anything not bolted down flies across the deck, including the passengers. as the ship tumbles in the sea, watch as the video shows one woman slamming into a column and just as she's getting some help, she and the others are sent sliding out of view. and on this 680-foot ship, a rogue wave smashes through the window on the voyage from spain
to italy, in march of 2010. sending disoriented passengers scrambling through water. two people are killed. another video from a helicopter shows an enormous ship tossed around in the ocean like a child's toy. you might emergency how things could go wrong in rough seas, but what if a ship is sailing on calm waters. less than five years before the "costa concordia" disaster, an eerily similar situation unfolds. while sailing through the greek islands another ship runs aground when it collides with a reef and forces a hasty evacuation for hundreds of scared passengers. >> fear was just tremendous from her perspective. >> fleeing for safety before their ship sinks to the bottom of the sea. this promotional video for the cruise lines shows one of their
ships called "sea diamond" sailing smoothly through brilliant blue waters. its ten decks holds nearly,600 people which include jan and her daughter, alex. their cruise takes them to the pristine coast of greece on a relatively calm and sunny day. >> well, you could see it's a beautiful day and we were all excited. >> jan is chaperoning her daughter's high school trip on what so far has been a fantastic experience. but on april 6, 2007, their fourth day, alex doesn't have a good feeling. >> we looked really close to the bottom of the harbor. and i just, i pointed out to someone, we laughed about it and as we started walking out of the room, we felt the crash. >> we quickly met and as we were standing there, we saw a lot of people come up and they were dripping wet. they had actually come up from the second floor and the pool
had just kind of erupted with water. >> while waiting for the students, jan realizes something is wrong and starts recording on her new video camera. turns out, the "sea diamond" has gotten too close to shore and has rammed into the rocks, sheering a hole in its side. within half an hour, helicopters and local boats respond to the ship's distress call. >> we were close enough that a lot of boats came to our rescue, but no way you could just jump off that cruise ship and swim to shore. it was too treacherous of a situation from that spot. at that point, we were listing 20, 30 degrees. >> we had to balance. at this point, we were kind of like this, and this was upright for us. >> passengers are ordered to get into groups by gender and age. >> they actually said this over the intercom, we're going to be evacuating. it was an actual scene out of the "titanic" movie. it was women and children will be evacuated first.
but, you know, we had had the boys in our group, they along with the male chaperons separated from us and by that point, it was really getting chaotic. >> while alex stays calm, people all around her are losing control. >> my sister was hysterical, my best friend was hysterical, most of the other students were hysterical. >> a lot of chaos, a lot of fear, a lot of panic. you saw people fight for things and i was getting kind of the last life jacket for our group, which happened to be alex's. there was a man behind us who was probably around 70 years old grabbed it out of her hand. >> alex finds another life jacket, and as the evacuation is under way, passengers are told they have to traverse down a rope ladder. >> we had to climb down three or four stories and they told us not to look down, but, of course, once they tell you not to look down, you look down. so, as soon as you look down you kind of freeze for a couple seconds.
>> some people, like this woman, seem almost paralyzed with fear. >> it was heartbreaking to watch this woman and she was terrified and very unstable. took about two or three of the crewmen to actually help her down. >> but after several hours, most are safely onshore. >> we were like one of the first boats that got off and it was probably two, three hours after that that the rest of our group got off. they were the very last boat. >> the classmates and their chaperons reunite on land. >> we were watching as the boat was sinking. in the beginning, when we first got off, we saw it move all over the harbor because all the currents were dragging it all over the place. >> by the time we were able to get on the rescue boat back to athens, it was probably around 4:00, 5:00 in the morning and at that point, our ship was completely on its side and it was going down. >> the ship lies crippled in the night, only hours from plunging to its final resting place.
>> the next morning when we got to athens we saw the rest of it sink on tv. we saw the whole thing. >> a father and his daughter from france are reported missing and are never found. >> people were tired, emotions were running high. and it was a long night. >> a long night and a long couple of days ahead since almost all of their personal belongings, including their passports, are at the bottom of the sea. >> we realized, we had absolutely no clothes and we couldn't find any place to buy clothes because it was easter weekend. >> eventually, the cruise line reimburse passengers for their lost items and gives them a voucher for a free cruise that jan has never used. >> we bought our boat a few months before we went on this cruise ship and the first thing my husband asked me when we got home, does this mean i have to sell the boat? no, wee