Raquel Dawson Caught in Oklahoma Floods Survives: Videos
Raquel Dawson Was Fighting For Her Life in Rising Floodwaters For Two Hours
Raquel Dawson, 17, was walking to work in Oklahoma City during a torrential downpour when she noticed a woman was stranded in a car and went to help her.
"She was struggling," Dawson told CNN affiliate KWTV. "I just have this thing where if I see someone in trouble, I have to go try and help."
It was after Dawson helped the woman to safety and tried to swim to find help herself that she was swept away by the rising water and the next thing she knew she was fighting for her life.
"I started shaking really bad while I was swimming, and I thought I was going to pass out," Dawson told KWTV. "I thought I was going to die."
She says that she was trying to grab on to trees whenever she could to keep herself afloat, but luckily she is a really strong swimmer and had been taking lessons since she was small.
It was about two hours before Mason Dunn, the KWTV helicopter pilot saw her struggling in the water and he helped guide rescuers to her location. The rescue took place live on TV.
"She's still swimming, and you can see the current. She's just hanging onto trees here, guys," Dunn told anchors back in the studio as the rescue effort was aired live. "Deadly situation here. They need to get over here quick, 'cause I can tell she's getting really tired."
The first boat sent to help her sank but the second one reached her and Raquel Dawson was finally brought back to shore safely. She had some scrapes and bruises but was able to eat dinner at her home last night.
The flooding in Oklahoma City was so bad that a state of emergency was declared in most counties.