The Best True Survival Stories of 2019

Posted on Posted in Bushcraft & Survival, Urban Survival

As the world watches the catastrophic fires that have ravaged Australia, we are seeing new accounts of survival and incredible heroism appearing everyday, as well as sad tales of those who have sadly succumbed to the fires. The human, animal, wildlife and physical cost of the damage is of an unprecedented scale. Such events bring survival to the forefront of public attention, however it is easy to forget that all over the world, every day, there are people just trying to stay alive in difficult situations. Here are just a few of the heartwarming human survival stories from around the world that happened in 2019. 

Hero Lad Catches Falling Toddler

In June 2019, a video went viral which showed a two-year-old Syrian girl, Doha Muhammed, being safely caught by a hero passer-by as she fell out of a second storey window in Istanbul, Turkey, while her mother was cooking. A 17 year old Algerian, Feuzi Zabaat, was passing by, he noticed that the toddler was stumbling dangerously by an open window and successfully caught her uninjured.

Australian Woman Survives 12 Days in the Outback

On November 19th, 52 year old Tamra McBeath-Riley, her partner Claire Hockridge and their friend, Phu Tran set off in the car to go for a hike, along with Tamra’s dog, Raya. They had only intended to be out in the outback for the afternoon, but when their car got stuck in a boggy riverbed and they were unable to free it, they became stranded in outback desert country. 

For the first few days they all stayed together, travelling a short distance on foot until they found a cattle drinking hole, from which they boiled water to keep hydrated. As their small amount of food ran out and no help came, the trio made the decision to split up, with Claire and Phu aiming to walk to a highway several kilometres away. Tamra stayed put with her dog as she felt the dog would not survive a long trek. 

Tamra and her dog survived the extreme daytime heat and cold night temperatures as well as the lack of water and food for 12 days, when she was spotted and rescued by the police, after a local resident reported finding the tyre tracks leading to their car. Her friend Phu was found alive and rescued two days later after being spotted by a worker on a remote farm. Sadly, a body believed to be Claire’s was discovered later that week. 

Missing Sisters Found Alive & Well

Back in March we recounted this heartwarming story of how two young sisters survived almost two days being lost in heavily wooded and very difficult terrain after deciding to go for a walk (their mother had said no). A huge search operation was mounted as soon as their mother realised they were missing. 44 hours later, Leia and Caroline Carrico, aged 8 and 5, were found safe and well, sheltering in bushes. The sisters had been attending survival skill classes through a local youth club, something which the police believe helped the girls cope with their situation. 

Belgian Woman Spends 6 Days Trapped in Crashed Car

In July, 45 year old Corinne Bastide had a car accident while driving alone, coming off the road and overturning her vehicle in a wooded area near Liège. The collision caused severe injuries which prevented her from being able to move. Unable to even reach her phone because of the pain she was in, she tried screaming but no-one heard her. In heatwave temperatures of over 40℃, she managed to open the door with her foot to get some air circulation, then when a storm broke in the weekend, she collected and drank rainwater from a chewing gum packet, sucking on a wet branch for moisture. Finally, one of her friends who was desperately searching for her the whole time, finally found her 6 days after she had crashed the car, where she was rescued and taken to hospital. The extent of her injuries was not reported.

Hurricane Dorian

At the start of September 2019, a category 5 tropical cyclone named Hurricane Dorian crashed into the Bahamas, wreaking devastation on the islands in the worst natural disaster they had ever seen. Thousands of homes were destroyed and 70 people were known to have died, with a further 282 still missing and unaccounted for in December 2019. 

While everyone who lived through the catastrophic events and the aftermath are true survivors, we feel a special mention should go to Brent Lowe, a father who carried his disabled adult son to safety on his shoulders. As the wind ripped the roof from his house in Abaco and the floodwaters were rapidly rising, 49 year old Brent knew that he needed to move his 24 year old son, who has cerebral palsy and cannot walk. So he put him on his shoulders and walked out into chin deep floodwaters. What makes his actions even more remarkable is that Brent is blind and has regular dialysis treatment. They made it safely to a neighbours house, before being evacuated to a shelter. However for them and thousands of Bahamians, the fight for survival will continue for years as they struggle to rebuild their homes and infrastructure.

Learn survival skills in 2020

The best way to make sure you have a good chance of surviving any situation you may find yourself in is to be prepared – and that means training yourself, Here at Wild Survivor, we are experts in outdoor and urban survival and run a fantastic selection of survival courses all year round.  Book your space now and become a survivor today.

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