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South Korean Ferry Owner Apologizes; Bluefin-21 Ninth Mission; Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Vanished 45 Days Ago; No Legal Action Planned Against Teen In Custody; Boston Strong

Aired April 21, 2014 - 20:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. Eight p.m. here in New York, 9:00 a.m. in South Korea where there's breaking news in the ferry sink, an apology.

And judging by the grim events and more crew members arrested, it's hard to imagine anyone is in a forgiving mood.

Also tonight, all hopes were riding on the Bluefin-21. The latest on its search for Flight 370 and fading hopes it will succeed. The question: what if it doesn't? What then?

Plus the ambulance ride was the easiest part of this 16-year old's trip. He apparently spent the night from San Jose to Hawaii inside the wheel well of a Boeing 767 in subzero temperatures with so little oxygen most people can't survive three minutes.

The question is how on Earth did he survive a trip across the Pacific Ocean at altitudes that reached 38,000 feet? Is that even possible? There's that minor miracle.

Tonight we begin though with the breaking news out of South Korea. An apology, as I said, issued just moments ago from the operator of the ferry that now sits under water with the bodies of so many people still on board.

The statement reads in part, quote, "We apologize to all the people who are grieving for the loss of their loved ones. Also we apologize to the people who had injuries, major or minor, due to this accident. We wish them a speedy recovery."

It goes on. "Once again we beg for forgiveness from the victims' families and pray for the dead," the company also saying, quote, "We prostrate ourselves before the victims' families and beg for forgiveness."

And there's painfully too much to forgive tonight, on the water divers and recovery crews spent a grim day bringing body after body out of that sunken ferry and back to shore. They're carried onto a dock slowly, gently, then shrouded in white.

At least 87 bodies have been recovered so far, many of them high school students on their way to a field trip when the ship capsized.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BARD YOON, RESCUE DIVER (through translator): The conditions are so bad my heart aches. We're going in thinking there may be survivors. When we have to come back with nothing we can't even face the families.


COOPER: Speaking for the families and all South Koreans, South Korea's president said she's filled, in her words, "with rage and horror" at the incident and the fact that the ship's captain was among the first to leave.


PARK GEUN-NYE, SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENT (through translator): The actions of the captain and some of the crew are absolutely unacceptable, unforgivable actions that are akin to murder.


COOPER: Along those lines police arrested four more crew members today, bringing the total to seven. As for that captain, he faces a series of charges that could send him to prison for life. He's defending his order to delay the evacuation, saying the cold water and strong currents would have made rescuing survivors difficult.

Others say telling people to stay below deck made it impossible. Ship-to-shore radio transmissions underscore the dilemma with officials urging evacuations and ships' officers expressing reluctance, asking who will be available to pluck passengers from the water?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The captain should make decision to make people escape. We don't know the decision. So captain make final decision on passengers' escape.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): That's not what I meant. If passengers escape can they be immediately rescued?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Patrol ships should arrive in 10 minutes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Ten minutes?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Yes, 10 minutes. Ten minutes.

COOPER (voice-over): And remember, when this all began, the captain wasn't at the helm; a third mate was. The captain says he plotted a course then left the bridge, a dangerously narrow course that authorities say was taken excessively fast with a sharp turn that they say endangered the ship, which brings us to this very grim morning on the water off South Korea, where Kyung Lah joins us now.

So you're outside what's called the exclusion zone. Take us through what you can see from where you are.

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, let me have you just take a look at this. We're on the Yellow Sea, we're on a boat and as you scan this horizon, Anderson, check this out, the number of ships that are on the water. You can see a helicopter flying towards us.

Then these smaller boats you're looking at, these are where the divers get on them from the larger marine vessels; they get into these smaller boats and that's how they dive down. We see a couple of them skimming the surface back and forth.

Those buoys you're looking at, you see the crane and then large buoys just floating there, they are off white. Those are where the divers have the guidelines and they go all the way down underneath the sunken ferry.

We're very close. We do want to point out we are outside the area where the Coast Guard has drawn a line. We are trying not to interfere. And as far as we know, we are not.

But those -- you can see those orange vessels are going back and forth. And this is extremely difficult, dangerous work. These divers cannot see in front of their very own faces, but this has been going on throughout the night.

When we arrived here about 12 hours ago you could see there were lights on that kept going in.

And what is driving these divers, when you speak to them, Anderson, what we hear again and again is that they just cannot bear the idea of so many 15-, 16- and 17-year-old children being under the water.

They are holding on to hope that there may just be a miracle, that there may indeed be an air pocket that they can find some survivors -- Anderson.

COOPER: And Kyung, this is going on around the clock?

They are working, they are diving at night, even under these conditions?

LAH: They are diving at night, even under these conditions. The scary part is that they are not quite able to access the most dangerous parts of the ship because they are worried for their own safety.

What they are using is rope to go hand by hand underneath the water, inch by inch and they are going into the vessel.

We have heard from the maritime police that they were able to get inside the vessel at 6:00 am local time, so they spent about three hours now underneath the water.

I can see it very closely with my own eyes, what they are doing is that when they find the bodies, they bring them up; almost 90 percent of them are wearing life vests just like me, this is a standard life vest here in South Korea.

And then they are brought to the surface and then brought back to shore. It's extraordinarily solemn and very, very difficult for them.

COOPER: So a lot of these kids were wearing life vests, they are still in their life vests when they were found. Talk about the investigation. There were a number of develops over the weekend and on Monday as well.

LAH: When you listen to the radio transmissions, especially, there's a lot of confusion and there seems to be a lack of leadership. So that's what investigators are focusing on.

A, did they have a plan? B, did they follow it? Then why did the captain tell everyone to stay inside? Why did he issue the order to stay in their cabin?

So there's a question of negligence as well.

And then how much cargo was aboard this vessel? That's still a big question mark, because many of the people who were aboard this vessel who tell us they heard a large boom. Well, it didn't hit anything. If you look at the topographical map, especially here, there's nothing, there's no rocks that will jut out and hit a vessel.

So that's what they're looking at, whether the cargo was placed correctly and whether the ship was engineered and balanced appropriately for such a trip -- Anderson.

COOPER: Kyung Lah, I appreciate the reporting. Thank you.

More now with Merchant Marine and maritime safety consultant, Captain Jim Staples, also retired Coast Guard rescue instructor and ocean survival expert, Mario Vittone and retired Navy SEAL Cade Courtley.

Captain Staples, let me start with you. It's good to have you here with us in New York. I know you (INAUDIBLE) caused this ship to do what it did. You've been looking at the route.

How complex of an area is this that it was operating in?

CAPTAIN JIM STAPLES, MERCHANT MARINE AND MARITIME SAFETY CONSULTANT: Well, we do know there's a lot more traffic in shoal (ph) where he was. That's one of the concerns you have as a captain. You want to keep your vessel out of the traffic.

That's why they have the vessel traffic separation schemes that are outside of the islands, that's where you want to operate, that's where you should be operating.

If this captain had a lot of local knowledge for the area it would be reasonable for him to be in that area. The thing I find unreasonable is for him to leave somebody who is so inexperienced on the bridge by themselves.

COOPER: A third mate. STAPLES: A third mate, yes, that's -- in an area that's known for a lot of traffic --


COOPER: This is a very narrow area, correct?

STAPLES: It's about two miles wide. So it is narrow -- it is narrow when you're talking in a larger space, especially when there's a larger VTS traffic scheme that's just outside of that area.

COOPER: VTS is...?

STAPLES: Vessel traffic separation schemes.


STAPLES: Those are mandated by IMO the way the vessels should be transiting.


COOPER: To keep vessels a certain distance from one another?

STAPLES: Correct.

COOPER: So the idea they were going too fast through a narrow area, that raises some questions or raises concerns?

STAPLES: Well, it would all depend on the current, which way he was going. But he did have a lot of speed. But that could be, again, OK, depending on -- what if -- if he was trying to compensate for the current. The concern is again, like I say, the inexperience of the third mate, the heavy traffic area and her being alone. That's a concern.

COOPER: Mario, we know there was only one life raft actually deployed of the 46 that were on board. That seems clear that they never actually staged for an evacuation.

Isn't that something that you would normally do or should do?

MARIO VITTONE, OCEAN SURVIVAL EXPERT: I'm sure it's something they should have done and it probably is in their safety management system and their procedures to do that.

And whether they made that decision at all is unclear. But they started the -- when they had them put their life jackets on, there's no harm at all in acting like you're going to evacuate. And I think that was one of the clear mistakes they made is the captain said, well, the water was cold and where are the rescue boats.

But it doesn't cost him anything to have them stand on deck and be ready to leave the ship.

(CROSSTALK) COOPER: To stand near the life rafts even if you're not going to get in them.

VITTONE: That's it. To get to their muster stations and to stand by to take the next step. So if the ship wasn't in trouble or if he was able to wait, then the biggest inconvenience was they were standing out in the cold. And that's what should have happened first.

COOPER: Cade, it's a very difficult question to ask and very delicate.

Knowing what you know and what we know now, does it seem likely that there could be survivors still at this point?

CADE COURTLEY, NAVY SEAL: You know, Anderson, I don't think so, unfortunately. I sort of thought it was right around the three- to four-day mark and once you get past that, probably not.

In addition to obviously what you're dealing with hypothermia, 50- degree water, immersion in that, you're good for a couple hours.

But the other troubling thing is where a lot of these people were in these cabins, let's just say I'm in an airtight room that's 10 feet by 10 feet, I'll have about three days of oxygen in there. That's not the problem.

Carbon dioxide poisoning after about a day and a half. So if these divers are trying to utilize their time the best they can, they are trying to look in the larger spaces and they're just completely disregarding the cabins, which, unfortunately is where a lot of the passengers were told to stay.

COOPER: That's such a nightmare to think about it.

Captain Staples, talking about the third mate, is it unusual to have an officer with less experience, you know, on the bridge at -- being the one in charge?

STAPLES: No. Usually you'll have a third mate standing in the 8 to 12 all the time. But depending on the experience, would demand that how much captain should be there to supervise or mentor this person. It's some of the things we're starting to teach the officers now is the mentoring program, how to bring the younger generation up and do things right.

So you have somebody that's very inexperienced, you want to make sure that you're there and you're teaching them the right way to do things.

So the inexperience is something to be very considerable about, especially when you're a captain going through a narrow area that has a lot of traffic and a lot of current. So something to be concerned with.

COOPER: Cade, was there any way to prevent this ship from sinking to the bottom?

There was time -- do you think that was a mistake?

COURTLEY: Well, Anderson, last time we spoke Friday, they had these three large cranes on scene. They've been on scene for several days. And I think the time would have been better spent to utilize those cranes to maintain the ship where it was at, basically on the surface, stabilize it. And then can you continue the diving operations.

Now that the ship is on the bottom of the ocean, divers need go down to 160-plus feet just before they are able to start the search. You know, that said -- and now they have to deal with even more impaired visibility because of the silt and the sand that's coming.

I don't understand the decision not utilize the cranes at an earlier time on this.

COOPER: Mario, I've seen that they've had up to 500 divers going down on this ship, all at once.

How do you coordinate something like that? It's got to be a huge challenge.

VITTONE: Well, it's a massive operation, and certainly their supervisors are being very careful with their safety. That's a lot of divers on scene and they can get hurt as well. It's a very dangerous operation. So they must be going at it systematically. I'm sure they have a plan. It's really hard to take a guess at what they might be doing from this side of the world.

But certainly it's systematic and they have got a plan. And I would like to see them use the cranes first. But then I'm not there. So I imagine there's a pretty good reason why they didn't pull that off.

The thing about the watertight spaces that bothers me is in the area where they were on the ship, the fourth and fifth deck where the cabins are, these aren't mandated to be watertight spaces necessarily. So this is another problem. If there was air there, is it still there because the air is always trying to get out and these spaces up higher on the ship are not necessarily as watertight as the spaces in the engineering spaces.

COOPER: We got to go to a break. We're getting some new information. The death toll has just risen to 95.

Next more on this captain in particular and others who abandoned ship when so many others cannot and other officers who did precisely the opposite, even paying with their lives. We'll talk more with Captain Staples about the law and what it takes to do the right thing.

Later, there soon could be big changes in the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. Late word from CNN ahead on the program.


COOPER: Welcome back. Our breaking news tonight, the death toll in the ferry accident in South Korea moments ago rising to 95. A total of seven crew members, including the ferry captain, are now facing charges, the captain for abandoning ship after allegedly causing to it capsize and sink.

Sadly, there have been others like him in the past. There have also been captains who go down in history for saving lives and still others who save lives and end up going down with the ship.

More on that now from Randi Kaye.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He's blamed for one of the worst maritime disasters of all time, but to some, Captain E.J. Smith is a hero. He had already turned in for the night aboard the Titanic when his crew told him they had hit an iceberg.

It was April 1912 and the Titanic was on its maiden voyage. When the ship started to sink off the coast of Canada, Captain Smith ordered the crew to prepare lifeboats.

EDWINA TROUTT, SURVIVOR OF TITANIC DISASTER: They gave an order for all passengers to put on life preservers, get up on both decks, leave everything. And so there was a precautionary measure.

KAYE (voice-over): Captain Smith ordered women and children be evacuated first and helped save more than 700 people. He was on the bridge as the ship disappeared, lost among the 1,500 people who perished.

Decades later in 1956, an Italian vessel, the Andrea Doria, collided with another ship off Nantucket. Captain Piero Calamai had made a series of errors in dense fog and heavy traffic. Yet when the Andrea Doria began to sink, the captain tried to make sure all the passengers and crew were evacuated.

Forty-six people died. He wanted to go down with the ship and pay for his mistakes. But his officers talked him out of it. The captain was the last person off and never commanded another vessel again.

The tale of another Italian ship ended very differently. In 2012, when the Costa Concordia ran aground off the coast of Italy, 32 people died. Captain Francesco Schettino got off the ship with hundreds still on board. He says he fell and tripped into a lifeboat. Listen as the Coast Guard ordered him to return to his ship.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (from captions): Get on board the ship and you tell me how many people are on board and what do they have. Clear?

Look, Schettino, I will make sure you go through a lot of trouble. Get on board! Damn it!


KAYE (voice-over): Captain Schettino is currently on trial. Among the charges he's facing, abandoning ship with passengers still on board, manslaughter and causing maritime disaster. (END VIDEOTAPE)

KAYE: We did some checking and found there isn't any international maritime law that says a captain must stay on a sinking ship. Many countries like South Korea have their own law or follow the Safety of Life at Sea treaty adopted after the Titanic sank.

It doesn't require that a captain stay on board, but it does say the captain is responsible for the vessel and his passengers.

KAYE (voice-over): That same treaty also says passengers should be allowed to evacuate within 30 minutes. Remember, the Sawal (ph) ferry took more than two hours to sink off South Korea. But the passengers were told to stay in place, a warning that may prove to have cost hundreds of lives -- Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.


COOPER: We're back again with Captain James Staples.

In your mind, what are the obligations of a captain to oversee an evacuation, to stay with the ship?

STAPLES: He's bound by duty and honor. That's his responsibility --

COOPER: Duty and honor?

STAPLES: -- duty and honor; that's his responsibility to make sure that the passengers, the paying passengers, are safe to get off that vessel. That's his duty. That's his training. That's his knowledge. That's what he's there for, to make sure these people are safe.

COOPER: Is there an argument that some could make that, well, it would be easier to oversee the evacuation from offsite, from not being on the ship itself?

STAPLES: I don't believe that would be possible. You need to be there in command to understand what's going on, not only with the people getting off the vessel but what's happening with the vessel itself.

COOPER: And I know you say it's 100 percent the captain's responsibility but not 100 percent his fault.

Can you explain that difference?

STAPLES: Well, we have to look what happened here. It may be a mechanical problem that happened with the vessel, there may be something going on with the SMS, the safety management system, with the training.

So we know there are some problems there. We understand that he wasn't the permanent captain on this ship. So sparing how many trips he had made on this vessel, what his knowledge of the area was, we need to look at that to see if it is, how much of a blame you can pinpoint on -- (CROSSTALK)

COOPER: But you're saying, even if it's not 100 percent his fault for the incident itself, for the aftermath of it, it's his responsibility.

STAPLES: It's his responsibility --

COOPER: Because he's the captain.

STAPLES: He shoulders all the responsibility because he's the master.

COOPER: Do -- it's really -- I mean it's -- kind of hearkens back to another time, but I mean how much training does a captain of a ship have?

Is there a universal course of training?

STAPLES: Well, that depends. It took me about 12 to 13 years before I was sailing captain so I had quite a bit of training and the training was reinforced through The Maritime Institute where we go; every time we're off ship we go back and get some type of training to reinforce that.

Some of the training we're doing right now is, as I have stated earlier, is the simulator training, very similar to what the airline pilots do. The airline pilots are regulated to be in flight simulators -- I believe it's every nine months -- that they have to go in and go through training on flight simulators.

There's no such mandatory or regulation right now in the maritime, so there's a good possibility that nobody sailing the ship has ever been in a simulator, depending on what nationality or what flag you fly under. But something was not seen, something must not have worked towards him. It's a great thing to do.

COOPER: Well, Captain Staples, I appreciate you being here. Thank you very much.

STAPLES: My pleasure, thank you.

COOPER: Honor and duty. Now we've been talking about a captain's duty to perform, to protect the people who trust him or her with their safety and ultimately their lives.

And if this particular captain failed to live up to that trust, there's countless others who are fulfilling another no less sacred obligation. They are recovering bodies, in this case the bodies of children, risking their lives to bring them home.

Again, here's our Kyung Lah.

LAH (voice-over): The first police boat returns from the search site, parents waiting, bracing. They return one by one in identical plain white bags; behind the screen, initial inspection, a blanket to cover then a short march back to land.

Parents rush to the white tents to identify their children.

"You must have said, 'Daddy save me,'" weeps this father.

No one is immune to the sound of losing a child. As the families leave the tents, so, too, do the stretchers, empty, returning to the gurneys that await the next boat.

Another group of someone's children, another march back to the tents. Thirteen return in this group, but more than 200 are still missing. Gurneys on the left side of the dock, divers board ships to the right to continue the search, to bring the rest home -- Kyung Lah, CNN, Jindo, South Korea.


COOPER: So much loss. We'll be right back.


COOPER: We're at a critical moment in the search for Flight 370. Officials say the Bluefin underwater drone could wrap up its work by mid-week. Today it began its ninth mission, scanning the sea bed at the search zone in the southern Indian Ocean.

So far it has not found a trace of the aircraft. Officials haven't said what the next step will be, if this first path of the narrowed ship zone turns up nothing. The search is now in its 45th day and as many as 10 aircraft and 11 ships scoured the ocean again today.

In Beijing, Chinese relatives of some of the missing lashed out at a Malaysian diplomat, cursing him when they were told the briefing they were expecting today would not happen.

Our Miguel Marquez joins us from Perth, Australia, with the latest.

What do we know now about the search that's going on with the Bluefin? It was in the water again today, correct? It's, what, about 8:30 in the morning there now.

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. It was in the water and they are saying it's being completed now. So it's not clear that they've done that entire data dump from the Bluefin-21 at this point but they're saying that there are no contacts at this point. So it will presumably go back in the water at some point today and continue that search. We know beforehand it was three-quarters of the way done with this current search area. We'll find a little later on just how much they've gotten through -- Anderson.

COOPER: And I understand the Navy, the U.S. Navy is saying that they are preparing for a longer-term search.

Do we know what a longer search would look like if it comes to that?

MARQUEZ: It's a very good question. Right now the Navy said they're beginning a conversation with everybody involved, all 26 nations it seems, and they are talking about literally the months ahead. If they hit nothing in the next few days, they will start talking about the months ahead up and through July.

It may mean bringing in more AUVs, it may be bringing those supply ships or the ships out there right now back to resupply. It may be just as much as going back to the drawing board and figuring out other places for the Bluefin to search. Right now everything is up for discussion and they are having a very serious broad discussion about what this search is going to look like going forward if they don't hit something this week, it seems likely it will grow to a much larger broader search.

COOPER: All right, Miguel Marquez. Miguel, thanks very much. I want to bring in the panel. Joining me is aviation correspondent, Richard Quest, analyst, David Gallo, director of Special Projects at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. He co-led the search for Air France Flight 447 and Mary Schiavo, an attorney and a former inspector general for the Department of Transportation that now represents families and victims of transportation accidents.

Richard, you're over in Kuala Lumpur. These reports that the Malaysian government is discussing death certificates for the passengers does that make sense given they haven't found even one piece of debris from the plane?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Well, the difficulty is that insurance payments need to be made out to various members of family. Of course, normally you can't make a payment until you have a death certificate and you can have a death certificate until you have either a court order or body. What they are doing in Malaysia now is the Life Assurance Association of Malaysia has announced that it will now start to consider making payments to relatives to next of kin even though there's no certainty of what's happened.

That's really a reflection of the reality, Anderson. That this search goes on for weeks, possibly many months more. Not only do interim payments have to be made by Malaysia Airlines, any compensation is to be paid under the Montreal Convention, but any insurance payments have to be made for life insurance and that will require either a change in law or a rewriting, a re-understanding of the rules to make it possible.

COOPER: David Gallo, if the search area is fully mapped by the Bluefin, which is supposed to happen in the next couple of days, I mean, if it turns up nothing then what?

DAVID GALLO, CNN ANALYST: Well, Anderson, if they were thinking if you remember that this was the bull's eye, I think it might be time to make the bull's eye a bit bigger and expand that area.

COOPER: Would that mean bringing in more under water vehicles?

GALLO: Possibly. I don't think they need to do it if they focus on this area. One or two others. If they look at other areas that are hundreds of miles away, sure then they've got to bring in more vehicles.

COOPER: Mary, we're also hearing the Malaysian government is asking families of the passengers to come up with a compensation package and present it to them. Does that make sense to you? Is it common for a government to ask families to do that?

MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: No, it's not. I mean, ordinarily the government usually sets up the structures and a parameters, but here there was an airline with an insurance company. They have to present documentation like Richard said they have to present death certificate, evidence of income and family members and who was related to whom. But usually they don't do that, but the families need to, if they are going to be tasked with that they need to present a masterful plan. They need to demand a lot.

COOPER: Richard, there's a request from families to get independent analysis of the plane data. Would an independent analysis would it be helpful at this point? What do you make of that?

QUEST: Well, here's the list of questions, Anderson, that the families have provided or have asked for. There's some 26 questions. I'll give you an example. Number 18, what is the statistical probability of the Inmarsat calculations being accurate? Is the ELT within a compartment? Lots of very, very detailed questions. For example, can Malaysia government specific the rights of next of kin.

What it is telling us is that as far as the next of kin is concerned, they really break down into several groups. Those who still believe that there is hope of finding alive. Those who want to know what their rights are moving forward and those who also want to question the validity of the search areas.

Now, they match across each other in many ways. But the difficulty some would say unwillingness to provide information or answers to these questions has finally led Malaysia to announce that the technical experts will be provided in Beijing to answer some of these questions.

COOPER: Mary, it surprises me. Some of the questions that Richard read out they are not -- I mean they are good questions and I would think those are questions that the families would have been able to get to answers to long ago. Whether or not the ELTs were in water tight compartment, that is a perfectly good smart question to ask. It's kind of amazing to me that Malaysian authorities have not provided those answers yet.

SCHIAVO: Yes. It's a mistake on the part of the Malaysian authorities to realize, to fail to realize families need information, want information, they spend every waking hour researching it. You know, just pestering everyone and researching the world for answers and if they would give them tans or tell them we don't know this or go out the seek find answer, the ELT questions are great.

I can think of many more. When last did they change the batteries? What system monitored the ELT? There's so many questions like that that are logical, sensible, really good questions for the investigation. The Malaysian authorities would answer them I think they would find the investigation is furthered as is the relationship with families. But that's very typical for accident victim families, they research everything. They are very smart and they know much about the plane.

COOPER: David Gallo, Mary Schiavo, Richard Quest, I appreciate you all being on.

Up next, Gary Tuchman drilling down on how a teenager could have possibly climbed into a wheel well of a big jet and flown from California to Hawaii. Apparently happened yesterday. Raises a lot of questions not the least of which how in the world can you get your body in there. How could you survive that kind of altitude and those kind of freezing temperatures? Gary Tuchman to find out.

Plus a show, defiance and resilience one year after a tragedy that cost so many so much. Boston reclaimed its marathon. I'll speak with the amazing survivor, Adrianne Haslet-Davis about her return to the finish line today.


COOPER: Breaking news, story of a California teenager who managed to expose serious airport security flaw. Tonight officials in San Jose say they do not plan on pursuing charges against him. The 16-year-old was found wandering the tarmac at the airport in Maui reportedly dazed and confused after surviving a flight from San Jose inside the landing gear wheel well of a Boeing 767. A stow away who beat very grim odds.

The plane reached an altitude of 38,000 feet. Wheel wells are not pressurized and temperatures outside of the plane were as low as 75 to 85 degrees below zero. As unbelievable as all of this sounds, authorities says surveillance video shows the teen climbing over a fence at the San Jose Airport and approaching the jet. Now before we get to how someone could possibly survive such an ordeal we'll tackle another question how hard is to it get inside a wheel well. Gary Tuchman shows us.

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, this is Southern California Aviation Airport in Victorville, California in the desert where airlines all over the world bring their planes they are not using any more. We'll demonstrate how someone would get in a wheel well of an aircraft. This is a Boeing 767 that used to be used. This is the door that's closed. There's a way to get in.

Here's how the process starts according to experts here. Someone who wanted to get in the wheel well gets on one of the two tires. Step on the bars right here. Climb to the top right here. This right here is where an opening would be to climb into the landing gear wheel well. Once someone climbs through that hole they end up here. I'll show you what happens after they climb through the hole.

Again, in this area, this is the wheel well area. We're told there's only one place to sit where you could possibly survive because when the wheels move in the two huge wheels they come right here there's no room except for right here in this spot. This is where he would have to sit with knees close to you, two tires right here and this is the only place where you could possibly survive. Nothing stupider in the world to do, but this is where you can do it -- Anderson. COOPER: I mean, people have died during this in the past. The idea that this is something that people can do. This is just the strangest thing I've heard in a long time. This California teenager is not the first to try this sort of thing. The FAA says 105 stowaways have made similar attempts since 1947, 25 of them survived. How is it possible?

Joining me now is Dr. Robert Schoeme, a professor at the University of Washington Medical School. His research focuses on the effects of high altitudes on the body. I find this just hard to believe, but I mean, authorities don't seem to be doubting the essential story here between the cold and lack of oxygen, physically how is this possible?

DR. ROBERT SCHOEME, PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON MEDICAL SCHOOL: Well, Anderson, I'm having a hard time believing how it was done as well. If he actually made the flight in that wheel well, of course, the atmospheric pressure, the temperatures are comparable to what they are outside. Both of which one presumably should not survive. There's one hypothesis that as he ascend and the oxygen was so low he passed out, but his body was cooling at the same time, his metabolism was dropping, his need for oxygen was dropping and we do this in medicine quite often, but the problem I have with that is that when he got off the plane he wasn't still extremely hypothermic. It doesn't quite all match.

COOPER: Yes. For all we know he was somewhere else in the aircraft. I don't think this has been proven yet. Authorities don't seem to be, you know, at least publicly doubting the elements of the story and he was in San Jose, he did end up in Hawaii. Are you talking about some sort of like hibernation state a body goes into?

SCHOEME: Well, certainly that can happen, and mammals hibernate. Most hibernate with normal body temperatures. There's some ground squirrels in the arctic who get their body temperatures just below freezing. Humans don't do that, but company have drop his body temperature, as I said, and that drops his need for any or some oxygen and he was able to survive the lack of oxygen. I wonder, the brain- damage that we would have anticipated, the kidney failure, all of the things that could have happen, it's still a very strange story to me.

COOPER: Right. I mean, anyone being at that altitude in an unpressurized environment, altitude is incredibly painful among many other things. If, again this, is true, could we have done irreparable damage to himself?

SCHOEME: Absolutely.

COOPER: You're talking brain-damage?

SCHOEME: Absolutely. Yes. Years ago on Mount Everest we made measurements of cognitive function just in people who were climatized. The brain doesn't come back the same. We have somebody 30 percent higher than Mount Everest and no climatization and I can't believe his brain wasn't affected. I'm surprised he was even conscious.

COOPER: Again, I find this hard to believe he was actually in that wheel well the entire time. Hopefully we'll know more in the next several days. Dr. Robert Schoeme, I appreciate your expertise. Thank you very much.

SCHOEME: Thank you, Anderson.

COPPER: Coming up the running of the Boston marathon. What an incredible day today. Incredible moving day for so many. Dancer Adrianne Haslet-Davis who lost a leg in last year's bombing crossed the finish line with her brothers who ran in her honor. I'll speak with Adrienne coming up next.

And also later, dozens of militants killed in massive strikes against al Qaeda in Yemen. What U.S. analysts are saying when we come back.


COOPER: More than 36,000 people faced the challenge of running 26.2 miles today, an amazing feat on any day. Today's race was about a city that refused to retreat in fear. President Obama tweeted that all the runners showed the world the meaning of Boston strong. The crowds were big. Securities was tight. Backpacks were not allowed on the course this year. Three people died and 260 were wounded when bombs went off at last year's race.

For the first time since 1983 an American man won the Boston marathon. Meb Keflezighi is his name, 38 years old. He won with an official time of just over 2 hours and 8 minutes. Incredible time. We've been following the journey of Adrienne Haslet-Davis, a dancer. A year later she showed incredible determination.

With the help of her prosthetic leg, she's danced again. Today her brothers ran the marathon in her honor. Adrianne joins us now from Boston. What an incredible day and you are smiling with a smile that is like from ear to ear. How are you doing?

ADRIANNE HASLET-DAVIS, BOSTON BOMBING SURVIVOR: I'm doing well, Anderson. It's good to talk to you. It's been an incredible day here in Boston.

COOPER: What was it like to -- I mean, first of all, just to wake up and decide, you know what? I'm going the finish line today and then to run the end of the race with your brothers?

DAVIS: It was amazing. You know, I said many times that my plan was to be at the finish line today and we know when we woke up it would be a game time decision. Maybe not leave the house or drive to the mountains. This morning my brothers and a couple of friends went down the marathon starting buses. When we saw them we decided yes it's marathon day and their moods were contagious and we couldn't help, but be excited to go down. It was the perfect early morning energy that we needed to push through the day.

COOPER: Now, your brothers weren't really runners before this, right? They were not marathoners before this. They basically have been training all year for this.

DAVIS: That's true. They are not runners. We were lucky enough, all the survivors were gifted two beds each from the Boston Athletic Association and we couldn't have been more honored and I asked my brothers because I couldn't think of two better people to run and to be able to push through and be there for me who know me any better, and they said absolutely we'll do it. It's for the love of family. And I couldn't be more excited, but my gosh, they weren't runners and it's been a long hard year for everyone in the family.

COOPER: Are they OK? How are they doing?

DAVIS: They are doing well. They are doing well. It was a hot day today and not used to training in this weather. One of my brothers is from Seattle, Washington and my other brother is from San Jose, California. The weather today was pushing high 60s. It was hot. No cloud cover. There's a lot of dehydration. One of my brothers ended up in the medical tent. My other brother isn't feeling quite well. They will be fine. They are proud. They are wearing their medals to bed.

COOPER: You hatch something on your cheek what's that on your cheek?

DAVIS: Yes. I want says "way to go" from nieces and nephews. They are in town and proud to see their brothers and aunt finish the race.

COOPER: As they should be. I think everybody's thoughts, you know, went back obviously to a year ago today. Just to see the city turn out in the strength and numbers, not being fearful, just to be there, you know, obviously with the memories of those who are not with us and the memories of those whose lives have changed, when you close your eyes tonight what will you think about?

DAVIS: Gosh, you know I'm going to -- when I close my eyes tonight I'll think about the city as a whole coming out and just being stronger than ever. Everyone had tons of energy. We dropped like I said my brothers and friends off this morning in the middle of Boston commons and it was packed with runners and packed with people. And I think that's what I'll remember.

We were down at the finish line for a long time, this morning. And saw the men's and women's cross and we were really impressed by the fact that people were filling the stands, filling the grandstands, filling the streets of Boylston and Boston is stronger than that and happy to see. So I think that's what I'll be thinking about.

COOPER: You'll run next year, I hear?

DAVIS: Yes. Absolutely. I'll be fitted with my blade here within the month. I'm incredibly excited. Adam and I both want to run. I'm not heavily medicated when I tell you this time.

COOPER: I know better than from miss I'll run with you because you'll hold me to it.

DAVIS: I'm tempted to ask you but I'll cut you a little break. Maybe I'll ask you off camera.

COOPER: Adrianne, thank you. Great to see you, my friend. Take care. DAVIS: So great to see you too, Anderson. Thank you.

COOPER: Tune in later tonight to see how people put their lives back together. Watch the CNN special report, "Back to Boston" at 10:00 p.m. Eastern here on CNN. We'll be right back.


COOPER: Let's get caught up on some other stories we are following. Susan Hendricks has the 360 bulletin -- Susan.

SUSAN HENDRICKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, U.S. analysts says massive strikes are targeting high level al Qaeda operatives in Yemen. Yemen's government said it killed dozens of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in a joint operation with the U.S. Suspected drone strikes hit an al Qaeda training camp in the mountains.

Officials in Ukraine say these pictures are proof that Russian forces are operating in Eastern Ukraine. CNN obtained a dossier showing what Ukrainians say are gunmen in the Ukraine that look similar to photos of Russian forces in Crimea, Russia and during Russia's invasion of Georgia though CNN could not independently confirm the photos.

And at least one company is canceling its climbing expedition at Mount Everest after 13 people were killed in an avalanche last week. The company Alpine Ascents International lost five Sherpas in the avalanche and says it's not looking to profit from this season. Anderson.

COOPER: Suzanne, thanks very much. That's does it for us. We'll you see again at midnight Eastern for another edition of 360. Make sure you set your DVR so you never miss the program. CNN TONIGHT starts now.