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There was only one lifejacket in the boat.’‘The men were speaking Spanish and I speak Spanish, so I asked if we could join them.
I thought we were going to some nearby neighborhood but we went about a mile to a neighborhood near a bayou.
' I was like no way dude, tell them yourself,' said Butterfield, 54, fighting back tears.'I told you we were gonna make it.
There was no way that stinky, dirty bayou was going to be my grave.'The pair hadn't seen each other since they were whisked to safety two days earlier on a Texas Department of Public Safety rescue boat and taken to separate ends of the hospital's ER department.'I know it sounds cheesy but I had that Gloria Gaynor song 'I will Survive' playing constantly in my head because Alan kept promising me we would survive,' Connellan added.'And here we are.
'But a few hours later I hear something - a reply.'Someone was shouting back at me.
Within half an hour we saw their boat come round the corner.
Against all the odds - we are alive.'The two journalists were in Houston covering Hurricane Harvey for Daily but could have had no idea they were about to make the headlines themselves.
The drama began about 3pm Monday afternoon when they chanced upon a group of volunteers trying to reach an elderly, wheelchair-bound woman trapped by floodwaters.
'My heart goes out to their loved ones and I just hope the missing guys are found.'Said a spokesperson for Daily Mail.com: 'We are actively working with local authorities to determine the whereabouts of the other occupants of the boat.'Our thoughts and prayers are with our reporting team and their families but especially with the families of the search party.'‘We stopped the car at an off-ramp because the water was high and we saw a group of men with a boat who said they were going to rescue an elderly relative in a wheelchair and one of her neighbors,' explained Butterfield from his hospital bed.‘It was an older motorboat, about 17ft, had an open bow and was towing a dinghy.
But before the 26-year-old photojournalist could even contemplate letting go, a familiar voice called out through the darkness: 'Dig deep buddy, dig deep - nobody is dying on my watch.'The voice was that of his Daily colleague Alan Butterfield who, along with Connellan and five other men had boarded a rescue boat Monday afternoon only to be electrocuted and tossed overboard when it hit power lines.
Two of the boat's crew drowned, another two are missing - but Butterfield, Connellan and a third man, Jose Vizueth, clung desperately to trees for 18 hours before they were finally rescued Tuesday - 18 hours later, Lucky to be alive!
As the floodwaters swept them downstream Butterfield spotted a low-hanging branch and urged them to ditch the dinghy and grab it.
Spanish-speaking Vizueth, 31, managed to quickly clamber up but neither Connellan nor Butterfield, who had suffered a dislocated shoulder, could get a foothold.'I was holding on to the flimsiest end of the branch.