There are many spectacular and heroic survival stories. Often the survivors were skilled men we could associate to the hero types. Someone in good shape, with some army or outdoor experience, with mental skills and used to stressful situations. We think of soldiers, campers, trappers or climbers used to suffer pain, injuries and cold without losing grip.
But there are lots of survival stories from normal people. People that led an average normal life without any special skills or knowledge that were just thrown into a life-or-death situation and came out alive.
So here are a few of these stories from normal guys that just happened to have a very bad day and got out to tell it.
An old man survived with broken bones for 6 days
Among the spectacular survival stories of normal people there is the story about David LaVau, who survived for six days in the wilderness near L.A. before he was found.
David, a 67-year old man, suffered a car accident while trying to avoid a frontal crash at night. His car fell down off a mountain road 50 miles north of Los Angeles into a steep canyon.
He had already been missing for a few days when his family noticed there was something strange and reported him missing. No one had reported any accident.
He held on for six days with a dislocated shoulder, broken ribs and other bones. It could have been fate but he managed to survive following the most basic instincts that led him to drink water from a small creek and eat leaves and insects to prevent starving.
Thanks to his previous use of a debit card in a store, where he had bought some supplies short before the accident took place, his family members were able to track and rescue him.
The most gruesome fact of this story is that only a few yards from where is car landed, the old man discovered another wrecked car whose driver had not been found.
A middle aged woman survived 18 days in the mountains in southern Spain
Mary-Anne (48) , a dutch mother of two grownups, did not follow any of the usual recommendations when she decided to make a trip in the natural reserva of Sierra Almijara in Andalusia (Spain). She went alone, did not tell anyone where she was heading and did not take any equipment with her. The only thing she did right was to use her brains to survive.
She intended to make a very popular trip for tourists and just took an extended walk, as she expected to be back in about two or three hours. She started to walk on a well known path that is very popular on sunny days, but which is full of little cascades and ponds. Somewhere she got lost. A month later she told the media later that she felt quite silly for getting lost on such a popular trip.
She tried to find her way out and then decided to go for the next village following the river. But she got circling around. Then the bad thing happened: She got trapped in a canyon in 800 meters height and could not get herself out of there.
And there she kept trapped for almost 18 days. She had been sensible enough to keep near a water source and this saved her life.
To keep from panicking she used her intelligence and hold to herself sending imaginary SMS to her children. As she was not injured she managed to take care of herself and get some routines like washing her shirt every morning and putting it to dry in the sun.To keep the sun from burning too hot she rubbed moss on her skin. What she could not overcome was here repugnance to eat insects. Thanks to the water her body managed without food, but got very weak. She arranged a natural bed of herbs to isolate the humidity and she imagined herself cooking her favorite meals while chewing grass. To avoid boredom and depression she made plans for her 50th birthday party.
In the meantime, her family had called for rescue, but no one could find her. They had nearly lost all hope when the miracle happened.
On day 18, just by chance three students heard her call for help while climbing a rock near the river. She was using a whistle with all her remaining strength to call their attention when she saw the climbers hanging at the stone walls.
As it was getting dark and she felt too weak to get out by herself, the students opted to go down to civilization and call for rescue as soon as their mobile phones got into a network. They left Mary Ann their sleeping bag and her first meal in almost three weeks, two cereal bars and chocolate. The next day she was rescued by the mountain rescue and flown to hospital. The miracle was she had not suffered any severe injuries, just dehydration and weakness. After a few days she was fine again.
A german tourist survived six days alone in the jungle in Venezuela
The 50-year old tourist from Germany got lost during a group vacation when he stopped during a trip through the jungle to take some pictures. He mistook the path of the group and went deeper and deeper into the jungle losing the contact and getting completely lost.
Initially a large group of villagers got out to find the lost man, but heavy rain made the search effortless. They found some footprints and a walking stick, but nothing else.
The man finally had arrived at a river side and was able to survive drinking that water. As he was losing strength and felt weaker and weaker he managed to write some big SOS letters with a stick in the sand shore of the river. After six days a military helicopter searching for him was able to see the sign and get him out of there. He was brought to a hospital and could leave with no further damage.