Cheating Death Amazing Survivor Stories

People say that you only get one chance at life. That’s not necessarily true as some people can attest. There are countless occurrences in which people end up surviving incidences in which they should have died. It’s amazing what a person can live through.

Here are five amazing stories of survivors when disaster struck.

Stranded at Sea for 76 Days

On January 29, 1982, Steven Callahan set sail from El Hierro located in the Canary Islands and was on a course to Antigua in his one-man sailboat as part of a mini transit race. Six days into his journey, his boat was damaged by a storm and sank. Callahan was able to escape from the boat on a raft where he was left to his own devices for 76 days. Callahan says he caught fish and birds with his make-shift spear and drank the water filtered through his solar still.

For 76 days, Steven Callahan was all alone in the Atlantic Ocean with dangerous sharks fighting for his life, where he endured equipment failures and deterioration and even had a leak in his raft for the last 33 days of his excursion.

Amputation by Shark

October 23, 2002 started out as an ordinary day for 13-year old Bethany Hamilton, a Kauai native as she and her friends went for a morning surf. However, the morning took a terrible turn when a great white shark attacked her, severing her left arm. Her friends paddled her back to shore and used her surfboard leash as a tourniquet. Though she had lost 70% of her blood, Hamilton survived the attack, and still surfs. The doctors say that if the shark had bitten her two inches higher, the attack would have been fatal.


What in the world would make a man want to cut his own arm off? Being pinned by a boulder for five days was enough of a reason for survivor Aaron Ralston. Ralston was canyoning in May 2003 when a large boulder fell and pinned his arm so that he couldn’t move. Five days later, Ralston found himself still all alone as he had tried to lift and break the boulder, but to no avail, his attempts had failed. With no water or food and becoming dehydrated as he lost hope of survival, Ralston became desperate. He first broke both of the bones in his arm (the radius and ulna) and proceeded to use a dull knife and a pair of pliers to tear the tissue of his arm away from the rest of his body until he was free.

12,000- Foot Free Fall

On December 12, 2006, Michael Holmes was skydiving in New Zealand. This started out like any other skydiving jaunt for Holmes. However, when he deployed his chute, half of it collapsed and proceeded to get tangled. With his expertise, he decided not to deploy the reserve chute because he knew that it would only get tangled up and would reduce what little drag he had. Holmes survived the fall a he plummeted into a blackberry bush at about 100 miles per hour.

Buried Alive

On March 1, 2007, Ryan Roberts and his friends were snowmobiling in Flathead National Forest in Montana and was caught in an avalanche. All of the others managed to get out of the way except for Roberts. As luck wouldn’t have it, he didn’t have his locator beacon with him that day as he couldn’t find it that morning. His friends and family frantically and called for help on their cell phones. About eight hours later, Roberts was found alive with only minor scrapes, but no serious injuries. Authorities said that they didn’t expect to find him alive. Roberts said that what saved his life was his full face helmet and his heat wrap.

Between dumb luck and a lot of determination, these brave souls fought death and won! You have to wonder how much will you would have to endure under some of these circumstances. Here’s hoping that you never have to find out.

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