TIME Australia

3 People Have Died in a Powerful Storm Battering Eastern Australia

Cyclone-force winds and flash floods have left 215,000 homes without power

Three people have died in the Australian state of New South Wales as a storm with wind speeds of up to 85 m.p.h. continues to batter the country’s east coast.

Police are investigating how the two men and one woman perished, but reports suggest they were trapped in their house in the town of Dungog, north of Sydney, by a flash flood, reports the BBC.

Footage from YouTube user benmillington18 appears to show entire houses in Dungog, which experienced 312 mm of rain in just 24 hours, being swept away by the floodwater.

Some 215,000 homes in Sydney and across New South Wales have been left without power, and there are reports of damage to lines throughout the network. State-owned electricity supplier Ausgrid say it could take “several days” to repair.

The State Emergency Service said it has received more than 4,500 calls for help and teams have completed 47 flood rescues since the storm hit Monday morning.

An elderly woman in the town of Stroud is in critical condition after being rescued from the floodwaters. People have also been reportedly trapped in cars and stuck on rooftops.

A severe-weather warning remains in place for destructive winds, heavy rain and dangerous surf in Metropolitan, Hunter and Illawarra districts especially.

[BBC]

TIME Accident

Man Rescued After Spending 66 Days Adrift in the Atlantic Ocean

Louis Jordan was last seen in January before departing for a fishing trip

After spending more than two months missing on the open sea, a man was rescued from his disabled sailboat on Thursday afternoon, 200 miles off the North Carolina coast.

The U.S. Coast Guard said Louis Jordan, 37, was spotted sitting on the overturned hull of his 35-foot sailboat by a German-flagged container ship at approximately 1.30 p.m. He was later evacuated by a helicopter to a local hospital in Norfolk, Va.

Jordan was first reported missing on Jan. 29, after telling relatives days earlier that the he was planning on “going into the open water to sail and do some fishing,” reports the Associated Press.

However, his family says they always held out hope that he would be found alive.

“He’s got very strong constitution,” Francis Jordan, Louis’s father, told CNN. “And he told me on the phone that he was praying the whole time, so I believe that sustained him a great deal.”

Despite injuring his shoulder and suffering from dehydration, Jordan reportedly told his father by phone that he’s “doing fine now.”

TIME Accident

See Raw Footage of an Infant Rescued After 14 Hours in a Submerged Car

Watch responders save Lily Groesbeck from car stuck in a freezing river

Warning: This video contains graphic content.

New body camera footage shows the rescue of 18-month-old Lily Groesbeck, who was saved by authorities after surviving 14 hours stuck in a car that had flipped onto its hood in a freezing Utah river.

Groesbeck survived a crash that killed her mother, Lynn Jennifer Groesbeck, 25, after the car crashed into the Utah’s Spanish Fork River. The car went unnoticed for hours, even though Lily was trapped in her car seat in the back. Her family is calling the survival a “miracle.”

The footage shows emergency responders working together to get Groesbeck out of the vehicle and to paramedics.

MORE: Here’s How a Baby Survived 14 Hours in a Freezing River

TIME Sri Lanka

This Man Survived a Tumble Off a 4,000 ft. High Cliff in Sri Lanka

Lucky isn't the word

A man miraculously survived a tumble off the 4,000 foot “World’s End” cliff in Sri Lanka on Saturday when his fall was broken by a tree.

Dutch honeymooner Mamitho Lendas, 35, said he fell over the edge when trying to take pictures of his new wife. He landed in vegetation growing out of the cliff face, after falling for about 130 ft.

“I fell down backwards two times, and then I sit in bushes for like three-and-a-half hours. The longest three-and-a-half hours of my life,” he told a group of reporters.

Soldiers used ropes to stabilize Lendas and lift him to safety. They then carried him for three miles before he could be driven to the hospital, where he was found to have no major injuries, AFP reports.

The World’s End cliff is one of Sri Lanka’s top tourist attractions.

In 2011, an Australian tourist named Christopher Pilther died after he fell off of the cliff, also while trying to take photographs.

TIME Italy

More Than 2,000 Migrants From Libya Have Been Rescued by the Italian Coast Guard

Italy Migrants
Francesco Malavolta—AP Migrants wait to disembark from a tugboat after being rescued in the Pozzallo harbor in Sicily, Italy, on Feb. 15, 2015

They were attempting a perilous journey in just 12 small boats

The Italian coast guard rescued more than 2,000 migrants who got into difficulty between the Libyan coast and the Italian island of Lampedusa on Sunday.

The rescue teams were also threatened by four men armed with Kalashnikov rifles who approached them by speedboat from Libya, reports the BBC.

The gunmen forced the rescuers to return one of the boats after the migrants had been taken off it to safety, said Italy’s Transport Ministry.

Local media reported that all 2,164 migrants aboard 12 boats had been saved and taken to Italy.

The stretch of Mediterranean between Northern Africa and Italy is a perilous crossing for those in unseaworthy vessels. The U.N. said almost 3,500 people died attempting the voyage in 2014.

Last week, at least 300 migrants perished in the Mediterranean as their overcrowded boats sank in stormy weather.

On Friday, another 600 migrants, on board just six dinghies, were rescued by the Italian coast guard after their rubber craft got into trouble.

[BBC]

TIME Accident

Watch a Dramatic Water Rescue Captured on an Officer’s Body Camera

A car lies upside down in a creek and water is pouring in

A video released by the Dallas Police Department shows a dramatic rescue of a motorist trapped upside down in his car as seen through an officer’s body camera.

In the very dark, shaky footage officers from the Southeast Crime Response Team come to the aid of a driver who had lost control of his car and plunged some 50ft into a creek on Feb. 6.

The vehicle was found on its roof with water pouring in fast.

“We’re gonna get you out of there,” shouts one officer. And thankfully, they do.

TIME portfolio

Inside the California Prison Where Inmates Train Rescue Dogs

Photographers Shaughn Crawford and John DuBois spent six days inside a prison, capturing surreal scenes of inmates and their dogs lounging in cells and playing in the prison yard

Prison may seem like the worst possible place to train a dog, especially at a facility like the California State Prison in Los Angeles County, home to the kinds of criminals we often think of as society’s worst.

But last year, a select group of the prison’s inmates—many serving life sentences for heinous crimes of murder and kidnapping—helped give rescue dogs a second life by caring for them, training them, and after an intensive 12-week program, turning them over to an adoptive family. Over the summer, photographers Shaughn Crawford and John DuBois spent six days inside the prison, capturing these often surreal scenes of inmates and their dogs lounging in cells, playing in the prison yard, going through obedience training, and, ultimately, bonding.

“I was really blown away by how compassionate they were and how much these guys cared for these animals,” Crawford says. “Their passion and their love for these dogs was really heartwarming. A lot of times, they would start crying when they talked about it.”

California State Prison in LA County is a maximum-security, or Level 4, facility and the only one in the state where inmates serving lifetime sentences train dogs. The prison program, Paws for Life, was developed by LA non-profit Karma Rescue, and it gives the dogs an opportunity to become Canine Good Citizens, an American Kennel Club designation that makes it easier for them to get adopted.

But just getting within the prison’s walls proved difficult for both photographers, who had to navigate TSA-style pat-downs and security checkpoints while lugging multiple cameras and backpacks full of gear.

The prisoners were all Level 4 inmates—the highest possible security level—but thanks to good behavior, a select group had been downgraded to Level 3 and given the opportunity to participate in the program. Crawford and DuBois said they quickly felt comfortable around the inmates, at times even losing sight of the fact that they were working with hardened criminals. At one point, DuBois recalled, a guard yelled at him for walking down one of the facility’s narrow corridors alongside a prisoner, something that is against prison rules due to security concerns.

“You immediately start to feel at home with these guys,” DuBois says. “But all of a sudden the guard freaked out. There were a few times when you get snapped back into reality.”

In one of their favorite moments, the photographers captured inmate Jack McNeil and a dog named Shelby playing with a water hose in the prison yard but again ran up against the ever-present constraints of their situation. The prison officials eventually told McNeil he couldn’t waste water playing with the dog.

All the dogs have since been adopted, including one by a prison official who was initially critical of the program, DuBois says, and Karma Rescue has plans to expand the program to six other prisons.

Shaughn Crawford and John DuBois are photographers based in California.

Josh Sanburn is a writer for TIME in New York. Follow him on Twitter @joshsanburn.

TIME Aviation

Watch a Pilot Ditch His Plane Into the Sea and Get Rescued by a Cruise Ship

The Coast Guard captured dramatic footage of the rescue

A pilot flying from Tracy, Calif., to Maui, Hawaii, had to ditch his single-engine plane in the Pacific Ocean after the aircraft experienced engine trouble.

Lue Morton radioed the Hawaii National Coast Guard at 12:30 p.m. Sunday saying he was having problems with the fuel tank and would have to ditch his plane, NBC reports.

The Coast Guard directed him to bail near a cruise ship, which was en route to Lahaina at the time.

Video shows the plane releasing a parachute and nose-diving before crashing into the water. Morton can be seen climbing out of the top of the plane and into a life raft where he was rescued by the cruise ship.

Morton says he’s an experienced pilot and has flown to Hawaii before.

[NBC]

TIME animals

This Man Turned His Home Into a Purr-fect Playground for Cats

He calls it the House of Nekko, meaning cat in Japanese

A builder from Goleta, Calif., has spent the past two decades converting his house into a kitty playground.

Peter Cohen spent tens of thousands of dollars building an elaborate home filled with colorful catwalks, hideouts, ramps and tunnels for his 15 rescue cats, the Huffington Post reports.

“I never intended to have so many,” he told the website Catster in an interview last year. “It is way too expensive and a tad too much work.”

Despite the expense, Cohen and his roommate are happy that they’ve built a safe and fun, and also very bright, feline haven.

“They give us unconditional love, and building the catwalks is one way of expressing my gratitude for that,” he said.

[Huffington Post]

TIME Football

NFL Star Vince Wilfork Rescues Woman From Overturned Car

The 147kg defensive tackle pulled the woman out using only one arm

New England Patriots star Vince Wilfork rescued a woman who was trapped in her overturned jeep on Sunday night.

Wilfork was on his way home from the AFC Championships, after helping the Patriots win 45-7 against the Indianapolis Colts and advance through to the Super Bowl, when he and his wife passed the scene of a car crash, WWOS reports.

The 33-year-old defensive tackle pulled the woman out of the window of the car with one hand.

“I didn’t think about anything that was going on in my life at the time,” Wilfork told reporters. “The only thing I thought about was seeing there was somebody in there and getting them to safety.”

The woman was later charged with driving under the influence.

[WWOS]

 

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