EXCLUSIVE: 'Bachelor' Star Sean Lowe Shares Intense Hurricane Harvey Rescue: 'I Was Holding a Dead Man'
By Antoinette Bueno
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Sean Lowe is seeing the devastation of Hurricane Harvey firsthand.
The 33-year-old Bachelor star is based in Dallas, Texas, and recently took it upon himself to go to Houston to aid in relief efforts. ET spoke with Lowe on Tuesday via FaceTime to talk about the unforgettable experience.
The reality star put a Twitter call out on Sunday to anyone in the Dallas area with a small boat that he could borrow to help with evacuations in Houston, and was soon able to head out to help. He shares that he was able to get within 45 minutes north of Houston at around 2 a.m., but then his truck ran into four feet of water, so he slept at a gas station for the evening.
"It came together within a matter of 30 minutes," Lowe tells ET's Lauren Zima about the initial plan to head to Houston. "It was eye-opening for me. 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."
"We were hearing stories of people who have young babies and they're stranded in the attic of their home, the elderly .. it's heartbreaking stuff," he recalls. "You know, I told [my wife] Catherine when I got back to Dallas, I said, 'I wish I could accurately convey how bad it is, but it's really indescribable.' And just to see people forced from the homes that they've lived in for years, to go down a residential street on a boat, and you see water eight feet high, and people's homes -- it's a really eerie feeling. And to hear people yelling and shouting...."
One experience Lowe says he will never forget is assisting a man in cardiac arrest.
"I don't know if he survived, I doubt that he did," Lowe shares. "We had to pull him from a canoe that he was being drug in to our boat, where firefighters were giving him CPR for about 15 to 20 minutes before we could get him to an ambulance."
"It took about three of us, and I was holding a dead man," he continues. "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."
Lowe says he feels hesitant about calling attention to his relief efforts, but wants to spread the word about donating and helping as much as one can.
"Look, I took a boat down there and I tried to rescue as many people as possible, but in the grand scheme of things, it's not much, but I'm glad I could play a small part," he explains. "Even if you can't go down there and help, donations are helping tremendously, and if you can get down there, they need you. And right now I'm trying to figure out how I can get back there to lend more of a helping hand."
Lowe later admits that Catherine was "nervous" about him heading to Houston.
"I think as wives tend to do, she was imagining the worst that could happen, and that's understandable," he says.
Catherine told ET in a statement on Tuesday that she was definitely proud of her husband.
"I'm just so proud of him for being brave and selfless," she said. "I hope other people are inspired by all the amazing people out there helping those in need. I pray for the safety of everyone affected by the hurricane!"