As the end of the year draws near, we look back at just a few of the amazing and heartwarming true stories of determination and survival that have featured in the headlines around the world throughout 2018.
Thai Soccer Team Cave Rescue
In June and July, the world waited with bated breath as a complex rescue mission was launched to extricate 12 Thai boys aged between 11 and 16 and their 25 year old football coach from flooded caves. On June 23rd, after soccer practice, they had cycled to the caves to explore, leaving their bikes chained outside. However, whilst inside the cave, heavy rains flooded the cave system, blocking their exit route. A park ranger found the bikes that night and raised the alarm, however the continually rising flood waters kept forcing back divers and searchers for several days. Specialist teams and equipment were flown in from around the world but it took 9 days to locate the boys and their coach who were all found miraculously alive. It then took a further 3 days to get all 13 out safely in a huge and extremely difficult operation which also resulted in the sad death of an experienced Thai ex-navy SEAL diver, Saman Gunan, who was 38. The soccer team had survived by climbing onto a dry rocky ledge, using rocks to carve out more space, drinking water dripping off stalactites and practising meditation techniques to stay calm.
Indonesian Teenager Adrift at Sea for 49 Days
18 year old Aldi Adilang was a fisherman, who worked his trade from a ‘rompong’, a small wooden fishing hut with no engine, moored in the sea 77 miles from the Indonesian coast. In mid-July, a storm broke his anchoring ropes and he drifted out to sea. He lived off fish he caught and rationed rainwater until on 31st August he spotted and was able to radio a distress signal to a passing Panamanian ship, the MV Arpeggio. The ship picked him up from the waters around Guam and took him to its destination in Japan, from where he was flown home to his family on September the 8th, in relative good health and in time to celebrate his 19th birthday. Somewhat unsurprisingly neither he or his family want him to return to sea fishing.
Woman Survives 7 Days at Bottom of Cliff After Crashing Her Car
On July 6th, Angela Hernandez from Oregon was driving her SUV along the Big Sur coastline in California when she swerved to avoid an animal and drove off a 200m cliff. Not only did she survive the impact but she also survived being at the mercy of the waves for 7 days before two passing hikers saw her partially submerged car and then found Angela alive and conscious on the rocks below. She had several serious injuries and concussion but had kept hydrated by using a radiator tube from her wrecked car to drink fresh spring water. She later shared her story from hospital:
British Woman Falls off Cruise Ship and Survives 10 Hours Alone at Sea
Kay Longstaff was on a cruise ship, the Norwegian Star, off the coast of Croatia in August when she fell into the water. The 46 year old was dressed only in denim shorts and a top but she coped alone overnight in the water for 10 hours before rescuers found her at 9.30am the following morning, in relatively good health. She credits her survival with being fit from practising yoga and singing to keep her warm.
The team at Wild Survivor would like to wish all of our customers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We look forward to seeing you again in 2019!