Former Bachelor star Sean Lowe helped rescue stranded Houston residents in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, and the harrowing ordeal will haunt him for the rest of his life.
Sean Lowe, who is best known for finding love on Season 17 of The Bachelor, is one of the many celebrities who have used their star power to help victims of Hurricane Harvey. However, instead of simply making a sizable donation to a charity like most celebrities are doing, the Dallas native decided to offer Houston residents some hands-on help by finding a boat and heading to the devastated metropolis. Lowe’s plan was to rescue victims of the catastrophic flooding that has plagued the most populous city in Texas, but he didn’t realize just how monumental of a task this would prove to be until he got to Houston and saw the magnitude of the flooding firsthand.
Sean Lowe recently spoke to Entertainment Tonight via FaceTime, and he revealed that mounting his ambitious rescue effort was no easy task. First, he had to find a boat to borrow. After a Twitter user offered to let him use her boat, he then had to make it to an area of Houston where he could launch the vessel and look for stranded residents. Sean arrived in Houston in the middle of the night, and he was forced to seek shelter at a gas station so that he could get a little sleep. What he saw in the morning shocked him.
“When I think about Houston, I usually visualize the downtown portion of Houston, but what I didn’t realize was the whole Houston metro area is being devastated, and it is just miles and miles and miles of land under water,” Lowe said.
As reported by the Los Angeles Times, some areas of Houston have received over 50 inches of rain. It’s been estimated that over 30,000 residents of the city may need temporary shelter, and many Hurricane Harvey victims have struggled to get in contact with 911 and other emergency services because they are all being inundated with calls for help. This is where private citizens like Sean Lowe come in. According to NPR, Harris County Judge Ed Emmett has begged anyone with a boat to help with evacuation efforts. Those who have answered this call have been dubbed the “Texas Navy.”
Sean Lowe and the group of firefighters he eventually teamed up with rescued about a dozen people, but Lowe is afraid that one man they attempted to save did not survive after he was loaded onto an ambulance. The man was being pulled in a canoe, and he was in cardiac arrest. Firefighters spent 15 to 25 minutes giving him CPR while they rushed to get him to a rescue vehicle for transport to a hospital.
“It took about three of us, and I was holding a dead man,” Lowe said. “His heart was not beating and his face was as blue as blue gets. To just be involved with that, to see it, it really shook me up. That’s something I’ll take to my grave remembering.”
According to the New York Times, there have been at least 30 confirmed deaths that can be linked to the flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey, and thousands of residents have had to be rescued via boat or helicopter. Because the need for aid is so great, Sean Lowe doesn’t feel like he did much “in the great scheme of things.” However, his wife, Catherine Giudici, has said that she’s “proud of him for being brave and selfless.”
Sean Lowe is encouraging everyone to donate to charities like those listed here if they can’t get down to Houston to help with the evacuation effort.
[Featured Image by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]