If you spend any time on survival webpages or forums, you’ve probably heard at least a dozen times that building your “survival team” is key to getting through whatever the future may hold. While it’s always great to have the contact information of like-minded individuals who have various skills to offer, you never know when you might find yourself in a survival situation. What if you’re out camping when SHTF and there’s no one else around to rely on? What if you’re in the middle of a cross-country vacation and your savvy group of bail-out buddies is a few hundred miles away when disaster strikes?
Well, you’ll be happy to know that you’re not doomed to certain death if you find yourself on your own in a survival situation. Here are three different times someone beat the odds and survived without help from anyone else.
Angela Hernandez was driving down Highway 1 near Big Sur in California in July of 2018 when a small animal crossed the road in front of her. As she swerved to mix it, her SUV tumbled off the road and down a cliff, leaving her 200 feet below the road. Her vehicle had fallen partially into the water next to a rocky beach.
Angela suffered serious injuries during the crash, including a broken collar bone, collapsed lung, brain hemorrhage and fractured ribs. The initial impact caused her to pass out. When she woke up, she discovered water rising in her vehicle. She used a multitool to break her car window, then crawled out and swam to shore. Over the next seven days, she walked along the base of the rocky cliff, hoping to find a way up to the road above. She slept on the rocks of the beach and used a hose from her vehicle to collect water from moss she found along the shoreline.
Finally, a few hikers saw Hernandez’s vehicle and called for help. Rescuers eventually found her sleeping on the rocks and helped her get to a hospital where she received emergency care.
On Christmas Eve in 1971, Juliane Koepcke was involved in a plane crash after the flight she was on was struck by lightning. The plane began to fall apart in midair and crashed into the Peruvian rainforest with Juliane still buckled into her seat.
Miraculously, Juliane survived. She was the only survivor of the flight and was completely alone. Her collarbone was broken and her body was badly battered. She only had a bit of candy to sustain her, but she did find water in a small stream.
While she searched for help, Julianne dealt with slow starvation and a maggot infestation in her arm. After traveling downstream for nine days, she found an empty encampment. She located some gasoline and poured it into her maggot-infested arm. After a few hours, lumber workers discovered her in their encampment and took her to an area where she could be airlifted to a local hospital.
One of the most well-known reports of solo survivors beating the odds is the story of Aron Ralston. He became trapped between two boulders while hiking alone in Blue John Canyon in Utah. After days of attempting to wriggle out from beneath the boulder and surviving off of his own urine, he did the unthinkable and amputated a portion of his own arm.
After this incredible feat, he descending down a 65-foot-wall with just one hand. Six hours after amputation, Ralston was rescued. He had nearly died from blood loss but found the will to survive.
These stories prove that it’s possible to survive terrible situations all by yourself. Do you have any other gripping tales of solo survival? Let us know in the comments section.