These stories show you can be anywhere in the world and need survival skills to make it out alive.
In 1972, there was a small flight that carried 45 people, most of which was a rugby team that hailed from Uruguay. The plane crashed into a remote location in the Andes Mountains in Argentina. Two of the survivors heard a radio report that declared the search for them had ended, and they decided to go find help.
Their mission took them across the mountains, and it lasted for 10 days. By the time they were able to find help, the remaining 14 survivors had been waiting to be rescued for a total of 72 days. How did they do it? They had to consume the remains of those who perished in the crash and the avalanche that followed.
John Colter was a member of the Lois and Clark Expedition in 1808. He was captured by the Blackfeet Indians, who stripped him bare and told him to run. This was when he realized he was the prey in a human hunting expedition.
He was able to evade and even kill a few of the Indians who chased him. He finally made his way to Fort Raymond, nearly 200 miles away from where he was captured.
Sir Ernest Shackleton had the intention of crossing the continent of Antarctica on foot, via the South Pole. Though the main expedition never actually stepped foot on the continental Antartica, the expedition managed to survive. Although the ship was frozen in the middle of the Antarctic pack ice.
He and his crew remained stranded for 22 months. For the first year, they lived on the ship, but after the ice had destroyed the ship, they were forced to move out onto the ice. Eventually, Shackleton decided to sail 800 miles north in a lifeboat to South Georgia Island to find a small whaling operation.
Mauro Prosperi, an Italian Police Officer, got lost while he was participating in a six-day marathon that ran through the Moroccan Sahara. A sandstorm spun Prosperi off track, and he ended up being 186 miles off route and now in Algeria.
Here, he took up shelter in an abandoned mosque where he lived for nine days, sustaining on bats and his own urine. He was eventually rescued by a nomadic family. The Washington Post reported that he entered to run the same race two years later in 1998.
Harrison Okene woke early on May 26 to use the bathroom aboard the Chevron oil service tugboat. The tugboat capsized due to what Chevron called a “sudden ocean swell,” as reported by Slate.com. Okene was tossed from the bathroom when the ship flipped over. Water swept him into the inside of the vessel until he was in the restroom of an officer’s cabin.
The ship sunk and settled on the bottom of the ocean, but oddly enough the water stopped rising, thus miraculously leaving Okene in a pocket of air. For the next 60 hours, Okene was able to find a light source, so Coca-Cola, and some tools and took to a “safe” corner of his air bubble.
There, he sat and listened to the sea creatures forage on the deceased crew members.
Finally, the oil company sent a recovery team after the ship, where the recovery team found the surprise of a lifetime, Okene, alive and well (considering his circumstances).
The whaling ship, the Essex, was rammed and eventually sunk by a huge sperm whale. 21 sailors were set adrift in a lifeboat where they had to survive by eating their crewmates and drinking their own urine.
Eventually, they came to a deserted island that had few resources as well. Within time, the group separated to find help, and some of them went back to the ocean in boats. Of the 21 sailors, only 8 survived.
No one is really sure how Ricky Megee wound up in the Australian outback. He first said his car broken down and then he later said he was attacked by Aborigines carjackers, drugged, and left for dead.
Whatever the case was, he managed to survive for 71 days before he was rescued. He lived off of leeches and vermin.
Jan Baalsrud and a group of expatriate commandos arrived in Norway, which was occupied by Nazis at the time. Their goal was to help the resistance, however, when the mission fell apart, a wounded Jan was chased through the Norwegian tundra with very little clothing.
Eventually, he was able to find a friendly village in the Arctic who helped him flee to his home back in England.
If you’ve seen the movie, Everest, the name Beck Weathers may sound familiar to you. However, if you aren’t, Beck miraculously survived the deadliest season for climbing Mt. Everest.
Weathers lost consciousness in the death zone, and although he spent 18 hours in subzero temperatures, he regained consciousness and was able to stumble his way back to camp. As a result of the ordeal, he lost both of his hands, and his face was badly disfigured due to severe frost bite.
Yossi Ghinsberg and three friends got lost the part of the Amazon jungle that ran through Bolivia. The group split into pairs, and two people were never found. Yossi and his companion built a raft so they could float down the river, but they became separated when they hit the rapids.
The friend was rescued, and 19 days later, Yossi was found on the river bank.
Whether you are in the jungle, the desert, on top of a mountain, or even 100 feet under water, survival isn’t impossible. It is amazing how a person’s will to live can surpass even the bleakest of situations.
It makes you want to brush up on your survival skills so you can be ready, doesn’t it?