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Carlos Ruiz Helps Rescue Friends From Native Panama Lost At Sea

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Carlos Ruiz is being hailed a hero, for reasons other than his performance on the field. The World Series winning catcher is being credited for helping save the lives of two childhood friends over the weekend.

On Saturday night, the Phillies beat the Dodgers 5-3, but when Ruiz returned home, that was the last thing on his mind as Jeffrey Eisenband of told the story. Ruiz's brother, Samy, was at his door to deliver Ruiz the news that his hometown friends, Walter Dubarran and Jose Mercedes Rodriguez, were two of three men who were lost at sea after their fishing boat upended. Ruiz hired boats, helicopters and airplanes to search for his friends for about two days.

"For almost two days, we were so worried," Ruiz told "We didn't know if something was going to happen to them. I'm so happy they are OK. Now I can get back to the field."

Ruiz, who contemplated going to Panama himself to help search for his friends at sea, hired a private boat which included his uncle, brother and other family friends.

After Sunday's game in which Ruiz did not play in, he arrived at his locker and was relieved to learn that Rodriguez was found. Dubarran, on the other hand, was still at sea. Finally, Dubarran who strapped himself to a buoy, got the attention of one of the boats Ruiz paid for. Thankfully, both of Ruiz's friends were accounted for and Ruiz could finally rest easy.

"The first thing I did was prayed to God and said thank you and wow," Ruiz said in his exclusive interview with "When I came into my house, I got a hug from my brother, my wife and my little kid. It was grand. I was so happy."

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