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June 7th, 2010
06:34 PM ET

Rig survivor: Being in lifeboat was like 'waiting to die'

Anderson Cooper | BIO
AC360° Anchor

Editor's Note: this is the FIRST time any group of the survivors has spoken out – and done an interview. This exclusive interview provides the most detailed account thus far of exactly what happened on the doomed rig that day – AND what happened in days and weeks leading up to it – that may help explain why this all happened. See the full interview tonight at 10 pm ET.

Wayne Drash
CNN.com Senior Producer

Matt Jacobs scrambled to the lifeboat deck, and hopped in a lifeboat. He was the second person inside. He screamed for co-workers to jump aboard. A second explosion rocked the rig. The lifeboat, still suspended in the air, went into a free fall of about 3 feet.

"Here I am on a lifeboat that's supposed to help me get off this rig,"

Jacobs thought. "And I'm gonna wind up dying."

He bowed his head and prayed.

"It's going through my mind," he said, "I'm never going to see my family again."

Eleven men died in the disaster, and 49 days have passed since the explosion. Now the survivors are telling their stories.

Jacobs is one of five survivors who talked with CNN's Anderson Cooper.

Watch "AC360" tonight to hear their harrowing tale of that day and how they got out alive.


Filed under: Gulf Oil Spill
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