TODAY | January 08, 2012
>>> let's call it cooler heads prevailing. when two men noticed black smoke in their boat on a fishing trip with their 11-year-old sons on a fishing trip off the coast of australia, they woke the boys, grabbed an emergency beacon , along with a beer cooler to use as an extra notation device. within minutes, the boat was underwater. they were spotted by a rescue chopper because they remembered to grab the emergency beak on. they join us now with their sons, riley and ryan. good morning to all of you, thank you for being with us.
>> good day.
>> good morning.
>> i understand it's 12:30 at night or early morning over there. we appreciate you getting up. scott, let me start with you. see if we can set the scene right. on a 40-foot boat, 200-foot deep waters . are you fishing and you see the billows of black smoke . what was your thought process? what did you think was happening?
>> i knew there was trouble with the engine. i yelled to rick to knock the throttle back, put it in neutral. i ran downstairs, shut the engine off. so there was no more damage caused. lifted the engine hatch and realized there was a 6-inch gush of water flowing out of engine. at that stage, i knew we were going to sink. there was too much water coming into the boat for anything else. i yelled to him, he was actually next door to me at that stage. i yelled to him to run upstairs, get the jackets on the boys, which were asleep. did that, i grabbed this beacon here, and, yeah, grabbed my wallet on the way out. grabbed the cooler and dived off the back of the boat. by that stage, i was probably up to my knees in water. in the salon of the boat and rick was yelling where are we, where are we? at that stage he got the lifejackets on and ran the emergency call here.
>> right, right.
>> asking me where we were, what was our location.
>> scott, you seem really calm while are you describing all of this to us. how much time did you actually have from when you started seeing smoke to when all four of you were now all of a sudden in the water, submerged, holding onto the beer cooler?
>> from seeing the black smoke , on the top deck, having a good time, having a laugh, to being in the water with no boat in the ocean, about 50 seconds.
>> rescuers say grabbing the emergency beacon saved your life. you had to put the boys in life vests , grab a floatation device , but the beacon really saved your life. how did you think to grab that?
>> i spent a lot of time in the ocean, i knew this was the only thing that would help them locate us. i knew we'd be in the water. and without this, we probably could still be in the water and probably would be dead by now i would say.
>> rick, how did you keep everybody calm in the water? you didn't know once the beacon went off that someone would come to rescue you, and i understand the helicopters came, passed you by, and a half hour came back. how did you keep everybody caulk in such a terrible situation?
>> just trying to be brave for the boys i suppose. helicopter went around the first time, they come straight at us and turned away, we didn't realize that was from the aaa call. we didn't realize that they hadn't had the beacon pick up yet.
>> ryan and riley, do you think of your dads as heroes after all of this?
>> good. you should. that's great. here in the states we have a commercial for foster's beer. it says, foster's, australian for beer. what you went through, it's australian for fishing. from what i understand, you are going to head out fishing again today. unbelievable. thank you for joining us. up