VIDEO: Arizona flood victim Brandon West captures survival on GoPro camera

Posted at 12:49 AM, Jul 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-19 08:01:58-04

The tense moments an Arizona man endured to survive a deadly flash flood that claimed nine lives was caught on his GoPro camera.

With his camera rolling, 36-year-old Brandon West of Chandler, Ariz., wasn't sure he was going to survive Saturday's tragic flood near the town of Payson.



West, a friend and his dog "Lucky" decided to head up north for a swim to beat the heat, not realizing a day in the water would soon take a dangerous turn.

With just seconds to reach, West saw a vicious current of black water carrying ash and tree limbs along with it. That water was heading right to them.

"You make the wrong step, and you get sucked under, you just pray you make the right decision," West explains.

With his dog hoisted onto his shoulders, Brandon made his way through the black water. "Lucky" took the brunt of the current.

Eventually, the current overpowered them, sweeping them downstream and sent them crashing into three different waterfalls.

"At that point, I was just so physically exhausted, I couldn't hold onto him anymore, and he ripped from my arms," said West.

Disoriented, banged up, and still in shock, he somehow made his way to a rock. Moments later, realizing against all odds, his dog was also able to swim to safety.

"Lucky," now living up to that name now more than ever, has a few cuts and bruises to match West's, but it's nothing these two can't heal from.

West just wishes those nine others got the same second chance he did.

"I don't want to seem ungrateful for being alive, I just wish they were too," said West.

He said he hoping to help organize an event to benefit the families of the flood victims