Real Life Survival Stories

Real Life Survival Stories

Knowing a variety of survival skills can save your life should you find yourself in an emergency situation. Hopefully, you will never have to use them for real but it should give you peace of mind that should the worst happen, you are prepared enough to survive.

There are some stories that prove this point through real life situations. There are many stories out there which show that if you have a positive mindset and sound knowledge, then you can survive in extraordinary circumstances.

Here are 5 examples of real life survival stories:

Ernest Shackleton
Ernest Shackleton
The real life survival story of Ernest Shackleton is a true feat of human endurance, courage and will to survive.

Shackleton set sail for the Antarctic on 8th August 1914. His ship, The Endurance, became trapped in ice in January 1915. The Endurance would be stuck here for 10 months. Shackleton and his crew were hoping that the warmer weather in spring would melt the ice slightly enabling the ship to become free of the ice. However, when spring did arrive, the warmer weather only resulted in the ice breaking which in turn damaged the hull of The Endurance. The crew were left with no choice but to abandon ship. Shackleton and his crew then survived 6 months camping on an ice floe. They were at the mercy of wherever the floe was drifting and their long term plan was the hope that it would drift in a life saving direction!

The men initially ate penguins and seals which were found in the area. Once the local animals migrated for winter though, they had little choice apart from eating their dogs! On April 9th 1916 the ice floe they had spent so many months on broke in two. This was the moment Shackleton made the decision that he and his crew should now use their 3 lifeboats and attempt to make it to land. After 7 days, the men reached Elephant Island. The Island was inhospitable and too far from any known shipping routes. If they stayed there, help would never come!

Eventually, Shackleton realised that help would have to be found in South Georgia which meant an open ocean crossing of 1300km. Shackleton and five other men took supplies to last 4 weeks (Shackleton knew that if they had not reached land in that time, the boat would be lost) and headed for South Georgia. After 16 days at sea, they reached land. Once they landed in South Georgia they then had to trek for 36 hours across mountainous terrain before finally reaching help. On 30th August, Ernest Shackleton rescued all 22 of his men from Elephant Island. They had been stranded there for 105 days but all had survived!

Juliane Koepcke
Juliane Koepcke
Juliane Koepcke went through 2 real life survival situations back to back. A true survivor

Juliane has to be the luckiest and unluckiest woman of all time. Firstly, she was the sole survivor of a plane crash. After the plane she was travelling on got struck by lightening and started to break apart in mid air, all but Juliane perished in the crash. Juliane woke up and found herself lost in the jungle still strapped into her plane seat! She had some sweets with her which was her only food supply. Luckily she located a stream and began following it (her father had previously given her the advice of following a stream to find civilization if ever lost in a jungle). The stream also enabled her to keep hydrated.

After 9 days, Juliane found a small camp and was able to give herself some improvised first aid. This included the task of pouring petrol onto her now maggot infested arm! A few hours later some lumbar workers found her. They moved her to a more populated area where she was airlifted to hospital. She had survived two massive survival situations in around 10 days.

Alexander Selkirk
Alexander Selkirk
Alexander Selkirk was a trouble making Scot who manged to survive for years all alone on an uninhabited island. He had to make the list of real life survival stories!

Alexander Selkirk was abandoned on an uninhabited island in the South Pacific Ocean in 1704. He was left here as a result of his misbehavior on an expedition ship. All he had with him was a musket, gunpowder, carpentry tools, a knife, a bible and some clothes.

Amazingly Alexander survived for four years and four months in complete isolation on this island. He used basic survival skills to build shelter, light fires, find water and hunt the native wildlife. Alexander Selkirk was eventually found and rescued by an English ship in 1709.

William Bligh
William Bligh
William Bligh entered his real life survival story thanks to a mutiny on his ship – The Bounty

One of the most famous survival stories ever told. After a mutiny led by some of his crew, Captain William Bligh and 18 other men were left abandoned in a twenty three feet long boat with very limited supplies. After one of these men was killed on one of the so called ‘Friendly Islands’ Bligh decided not to risk any more lives. He made the decision that the nearest island he knew was safe was an island called Timor. The only problem with this is that it was 3600 miles away!

What makes this story so extraordinary is that despite these huge odds, no one else died on the 6 week journey. Bligh navigated and kept order on the small boat as they rowed and sailed to their destination. He rationed the supplies they had strictly and everyone made it out alive.

Chilean Miners
Chilean Miners
One of the Chilean Miners celebrating being rescued at the end of their real life survival story

After a rock fall on 5th August 2010, 33 Chilean Miners were trapped 2300 feet underground. The miners were trapped in a refuge section of the mine with hugely limited food and drink supplies.

After attaching a note to a drill bit that was used to make a hole in the mine to try and locate the miners, the rescue mission finally began. In total the miners were trapped for 69 days. During this time, they followed strict hygiene routines and tried to maintain a positive outlook.

 

It is well worth spending some time doing your own research and learning more about these real life survival stories. See what you can learn from them. Hopefully you will never find yourself in a survival situation. However, if you do, it is best to be as prepared as possible!

 

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