Sep 29th 2009 By Scott Indrisek
CNN reporter Rick Sanchez's latest addition to the annals of disaster porn starts off mundane and quickly gets frightening. Anyone suffering from claustrophobia or an irrational fear of H20 might want to steer clear of this clip
Sanchez teamed up with Florida cops to demonstrate the best way to escape a car that has ended up underwater. (We imagine this happens quite a bit in Florida, where "Cops" episodes often feature drunk-driving busts, and the median age for drivers is 129.)
"My father always told me, if you're scared, just say you're scared," Sanchez intones before being submerged. "Guess what, folks -- I'm a little scared."
The steps are so simple that even the sort of idiot who drives his car into a lake can manage them: Undo your seat belt, unlock the door, open the window, get out. We were shaking our heads at the obvious here until the reporter's third attempt to extricate himself from a sinking sedan became a bit more complicated -- the door gets stuck, rescue divers can't batter their way in, and the fearless reporter has to breathe through an emergency air supply. "I try to push on the door -- but it seems jammed," Sanchez says. "Admittedly, it's a chilling moment."
say it's important to keep that seat belt on
until you're ready to bolt to safety. Personally, that seems like wiser advice than what's offered by Sanchez's instructor. But hey -- your life, your call.
Now if it's frightening enough to escape a sinking car while a disaster response team waits on the banks with a winch to pull you out if anything goes wrong -- imagine what this would feel like in a real emergency. You don't want to be left to your own panicked devices ... a real disaster calls for real survival gadgets.
Sanchez mentions the generic 'power punch' -- a handy tool used to smash your window should it refuse to roll down underwater. We prefer the "LifeHammer," which sounds like something Thor, God of Thunder might carry. It's basically the Swiss army knife of "OMG-my-car-is-sinking-underwater" devices, allowing you to cut your seatbelt and
break your window. With any luck they'll add a bottle opener so that you can crack that celebratory Budweiser on dry land.