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Man Swept Into River Survives

An Oklahoma man survives being swept away by a raging river. Thirty-seven-year-old James Brewer, from Miami, was taking pictures of the Pensacola Dam at Grand Lake, when a big wave swallowed him and the ground he was standing on. The News On 6’s Steve Berg reports James Brewer was carried 15 miles downriver and somehow survived rocks, waves, and water that pushed him under the surface for much of the time.

"Everybody says you get tossed around like a rag doll,” said James Brewer. “They weren't kidding."

James Brewer says it was just a fun family outing with his wife and two kids, taking pictures of the imposing cascades as water was released from the rain-swollen reservoir, but then he saw the wave coming toward him, and then the ground went out from under him.

"It was one hell of a ride after that," he said.

James Brewer says he remembers nearly everything in his nearly hour-long ordeal with this force of nature. Tumbling helplessly below the surface, he says he could see sunlight filtering down through the water, but there was no way to know when or if the current would let him up.

"There were several times where I honestly didn't think that I was going to make it to the surface to get enough air to sustain another dive,” he said. "You are at the mercy of something you can't control."

Meanwhile, his wife, Rebecca Brewer, was frantically calling 911, and even with such a hopeless-looking situation, she urged the authorities to think rescue, not recovery.

"I told them they're not finding a body. They're finding my husband, and I told them you will find my husband,” Rebecca Brewer said.

And find them they did, his leg shattered by a boulder, clinging to a small tree branch.

"It was a good little branch,” he said. "A lot of people might not understand, but there are forces greater than us, and after going through something like that, I honestly believe if it hadn't been for the Lord, I wouldn't have been here."

James Brewer is having surgery to repair his leg, and he has lots of bruises and some other internal injuries, but essentially he's okay.

Watch the video: Man Survives Scary Ride In Raging River
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