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Miami Teen On Kayak Accident: “I Was Almost Dead”

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HONOLULU (CBSMiami/AP) – He is suffering with a broken right leg held together by a bar and bolts, but Matthew Alzate knows it could have been much worse.

Recovering in a Honolulu hospital and with his parents at his  bedside, the Miami 15-year-old who survived a July Fourth kayaking accident in Hawaii was reunited Wednesday with the kayak guide who kept that from happening.

While Alzate doesn’t remember much from that day, he knows kayak guide Nolan Reed helped pull him from the dangerous surf.

On July Fourth, a huge, freak wave carried Matthew and fellow camper Tyler Madoff into the sea near the rocky tidepools of Kealakekua Bay. They were part of a teen adventure group called “Bold Earth”. Reed jumped in to help rescue Matthew, who was face-down in the water.

“In that moment, it was either rise to the occasion or run away and hide,” admits Reed, who works for Hawaii Pack and Paddle.

Reed declined to answer questions regarding the whereabouts of Madoff. Rescuers have called off the search for the White Plains, N.Y. teen. He also refused to comment on what Bold Earth counselors were doing at the time of the accident

The kayak company and Bold Earth are at odds over who is to blame for taking the campers to that location.

Matthew could not care less: he is just happy Reed was there to help rescue him.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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