Program Note: See the full interview with the three fishermen, who were first on the scene of the Deepwater Horizon explosion, tonight on AC360° at 10 pm ET.
Last week we got an email from Shelly Milam from Milam and Milam law offices in Alabama. She said she had some video and photographs from clients who were out fishing in the Gulf of Mexico the night the Deepwater Horizon exploded.
I met with their attorneys and watched cell phone video the 3 men took that night. They were the first to respond to the scene as they were on a fishing trip and happened to be 17 miles away.
Scott Russell, Mark Mead and Brad Shivers agreed to give us their video and photographs and told us about the night that they say changed their lives forever. They describe a situation where they noticed a fireball in the distance and suddenly heard mayday calls coming in saying people were abandoning the rig.
They started heading to the Deepwater Horizon knowing that people were going to need help. They were there before the Coast Guard and felt intense heat coming from the fire on the rig. They saw people hanging off rafts asking them to go search for people who were missing. They handed them their medical kits and started searching the waters surrounding the rig looking for anyone in the water.
The three men met us and interviewed with Anderson about what they saw that night and the chaos they witnessed when they first arrived.
It's a night they say they'll never forget.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
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