ten Far more Survivors With Close to Death Expertise

Pushing the limits of human endurance, survivors of death defying experiences relive their ordeals and the moment of truth that kept them alive. We examine our most basic instincts whilst revealing wonderful intricacies and profound depths of the human condition.

Previously: ten Incredibly Miraculous Survivors

10. “Lost in the Snow

Survivors: James, Jennifer and Clayton Stolpa


On December 29, 1992, James and Jennifer Stolpa, and their five month old son Clayton attempted to travel to a funeral. Although en route from Northern California to the funeral in Idaho, a young couple and their infant encounter a serious blizzard and turn out to be trapped in deep snow in the mountainous Nevada back country. Not realizing that they’ve mistakenly taken a road that is closed for the duration of the winter, the family waits in their automobile for a couple of days, hoping to be rescued. When they understand that rescue is not imminent and they have run out of food and water, they make the dangerous decision to leave their truck and venture out on foot, hoping to uncover a main road. After struggling by means of knee-deep snow for over 9 days, their baby literally in tow in a make-shift cocoon, the predicament quickly escalates into a desperate life or death struggle for survival. 2005 movie Snowbound is based on this story.

9. “Trapped in the Canyon

Survivors: Danelle Ballengee and Taz


In December 2006, two-time adventure racing planet champion Danelle Ballengee suffered a pelvis-shattering 60-foot fall and two nights in sub-freezing climate in a canyon near Moab, Utah, accompanied only by her dog Taz. Her skeleton is split into two and some big blood vessels in her pelvis are damaged leading to accumulation of substantial quantity of blood in her abdomen and pelvis. In the end, Taz leads the rescuers to Danelle, saving her life after five days.

8. “Avalanche of Terror

Survivors: Kenneth Jones


In January 2003, Kenneth Jones, 27, from Manchester, was climbing alone and had no mobile telephone when an avalanche swept him 75ft from a rock even though climbing in the Fagaras Mountains near Brasov in central Romania. Suffering from a fractured skull, broken leg and other injuries, Mr Jones was unable to stroll. He crawled on his arms and hands in temperatures as low as -15C for nearly 100 hours, drinking melting snow to survive. Ken Jones, with a shattered pelvis and broken femur, he crawled over 7 miles for four days to reach the nearest road in temperatures as low as -15 degrees Celsius. Mr Jones at some point reached the village of Sumerna, exactly where he was identified by a family, who named an ambulance to take him to the very first of 3 hospitals. He was admitted in a coma and it was many hours ahead of he could be revived. Doctors at the County Hospital in Brasov mentioned Mr Jones had suffered frostbite as properly as fractures to his skull, pelvis and appropriate leg.

7.  “Crashed in the Rockies”

Survivors: Justin Kirkbride, Larry Dimond and Tommy Robbins 7 U.S. Air Force personnel


January 2002, trainee pilot Justin Kirkbride takes two pals, Tommy and Larry, on a sightseeing tour of the Rocky Mountains, but crashes on a steep, snowy mountainside. Larry breaks his leg, whilst best buddy Tommy is knocked unconscious. Only Justin escapes unscathed. He decides to hike 45 miles down the treacherous mountainside in search of aid. As darkness falls he picks up a cell signal and manages to summon a rescue helicopter. He joins the rescue pilots in the search for his two missing pals, but their crash web site is hidden by thick pine forest. The search is about to be named off when disaster strikes yet again – the rescue helicopter clips a tree and smashes into the mountainside. Justin as soon as once more fought for his life and searched for his close friends in the thick forest.

6. “Alone in the Amazon

Survivor: Benedict Allen. Deceased: Allen’s dog Cashoo


In 1985, fresh-faced 22-year-old Brit Benedict Allen embarks on an epic six-month expedition which will take him from the mouth of the Amazon River by way of 600 miles of uncharted jungle. On the final leg of his journey, Benedict meets two gold miners who steal his guides then threaten to kill him. Fearing for his life, Benedict is forced to tackle the wilds of the Amazon with only his faithful dog, Cashoe, for business. His inexperience practically charges him dearly when he capsizes his canoe, losing virtually all his provisions. Embarking on the 100-mile journey by way of dense rainforest to security, Benedict is struck down by malaria and a serious case of “jungle madness.”  Right after his canoe was smashed, Benedict Allen is stranded in the Amazon rainforest for 28 days. He is forced to kill and eat his dog Cashoo with a machete to survive.

five. “A Father’s Deadly Dilemma

Survivors: David Hunt and his daughter Leia Hunt-Hans


On the morning of March three, 2003, David Hunt and his 11 year old daughter Leia are en route by means of snowmobile to their cottage in Maniwaki, Quebec, Canada Their snowmobile flips, throwing David into a ravine He at some point climbs out, but his knee is shattered and he can not continue. Its up to Leia to save her dads life and to stay alive. During the trip, Mr. Hunt and his daughter took a snow-covered path hiding a bridge. A single of the snowmobile’s skis got trapped and the automobile overturned. Before falling into the six-foot deep ravine, Mr. Hunt pushed his daughter into the snow so that she would not be injured. The snowmobile fell on Mr. Hunt, who fractured his knee in five locations. His fall ended in the water, at the bottom of the ravine. Right after an hour’s effort, Leia was able to assist her father climb out of the ravine. Mr. Hunt was unable to move any additional. Daylight was fading and it was obtaining a lot colder. Leia went to get wood to make a fire, but the wood was too damp to light. She left to get assist and walked for more than two hours. Alone and frightened by the sounds of wolves and other animals, she went back to where her father lay. As they were certain they would not find support that evening, Leia went down into the ravine to get their bags. She fell into the water and her feet got wet. The father and daughter spent the evening outdoors, in the cold, huddled with each other for warmth. The following morning, regardless of the frostbite she had suffered, Leia again went to get help and walked six kilometres ahead of obtaining a comfort retailer. She was suffering from extreme hypothermia assist was named. Leia was taken to hospital in Saint-Jérôme and then transferred to Sainte-Justine exactly where they amputated her right foot and the toes of her left foot. She spent 3 months in hospital and underwent eight operations.

four. “Left for Dead on Everest

Survivor: Lincoln Hall


Lincoln Hall reaches the peak of Mt. Everest, but on the way down he develops cerebral edema. Stuck in the “death zone”, as recognized to climbers, he is in serious danger at 28,000 feet. Lincoln Hall was left for dead while descending from the summit of Mount Everest May 25, 2006, following suffering from a kind of altitude sickness that brought on him to hallucinate and become confused. However, nobody understands of his situation and he can only dream of an imminent rescue. According to reports, He was attempted a rescue for hours, but as evening started to fall, their oxygen supplies diminished and snow blindness set in, they were ordered by their expedition leader Alexander Abramov to leave an apparently dead Hall on the mountain and return to camp. A statement was later released announcing his death to his buddies and household. However, the next morning at 7am (12 hours later) Hall was located still alive at 8:53 a.m. by a team producing a summit attempt.  Myles Osborne described the scene:

“Sitting to our left, about two feet from a 10,000 foot drop, was a man. Not dead, not sleeping, but sitting cross legged, in the approach of altering his shirt. He had his down suit unzipped to the waist, his arms out of the sleeves, was wearing no hat, no gloves, no sunglasses, had no oxygen mask, regulator, ice axe, oxygen, no sleeping bag, no mattress, no food nor water bottle. ‘I imagine you’re surprised to see me right here’, he stated. Now, this was a moment of total disbelief to us all. Here was a gentleman, apparently lucid, who had spent the evening without oxygen at 8600m, with out appropriate gear and barely clothed. And ALIVE.”

three. “Crash in a Volcano”

Survivors: Mike Benson, Chris Duddy and Craig


Could you survive a helicopter crash into an inferno? In 1992, a Hollywood camera crew taking helicopter shots over a live volcano experiences engine failure and crash-lands into the erupting mountain. They survive only to find themselves just yards from molten lava. Alone and suffocating from the crater’s poisonous gasses, every man makes his personal bid for escape, considering the others are dead.

2. “Hike into Hell Canyon

Survivors: Linda Forney and her dog Cocoa Gin


In August 1975, 25-year old Linda Forney with her dog, Cocoa Gin, took a walk to a nearby village via the canyon, only to take a wrong turn along the way.  With temperatures exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit a disoriented Forney travels deeper into the sub-canyons, becoming more starved and dehydrated for weeks and at some point trapping herself in a canyon. With no supplies, she and her dog are forced to survive for 21 days in rising temperatures and sweltering heat.

1. “76 Days Adrift

Survivor: Steven Callahan


Steven Callahan is shipwrecked from his boat and survives for 76 days on a tiny liferaft at sea.  In 1982, Callahan set sail in a sloop, participating in a race from the Canary Islands to the Caribbean. Following six days the sloop sank and for the next two and a half months he had to live off fish he caught and water he distilled and had to fight off sharks. When he damaged one particular of the rubber rings of the raft, he had to improvise a repair with a piece of foam, a fork deal with, and lengths of rope. His knowledge was used to redesign life rafts.

© Smashing Lists

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