“I’ve been in a lot of strange situations, but I’d never come as remotely close to dying as this,” Forrest Sawyer, formerly of ABC News and MSNBC, tells the New York Daily News‘ Richard Huff. “This” refers to a helicopter crash in Tanzania last week, part of a Travel Channel series shoot, that left Sawyer with an injured knee.
Huff reports the chopper was flying over a lake when one of its pylons touched the water. The chopper flipped over.
“Water rushes in,” said Sawyer. “We’re now hanging upside down in the water. I got a breath; I thought it was going to blow.”
Sawyer says he and two others on board pulled colleagues from the wreckage and brought them to shore &mdash 3 or 4 miles away.
“After reaching the shoreline,” Huff writes, “they were helped by young members of the Masai tribe, who crafted a makeshift stretcher to drag the injured to get medical care.”
It took hours to get that medical care, with the pilot airlifted to a hospital, and a producer taken to a South Africa hospital. Sawyer has returned home to New York. “I have a 4-year-old girl,” he says. “I don’t need to do crazy things…When you get that close, it causes you to think about what is important.”