Updated: Fri, 04 Jun 2010 09:50:07 GMT | By Kim Wildman, MSN Travel contributor
I’m a survivor: 10 true tales of travel survival

Juliane Koepcke



Seventeen-year-old Juliane Koepcke (© AP/PA)
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... Despite a broken collarbone and other injuries, Koepcke trekked for nine days through the rainforest to find help. Following a stream, she at times waded through knee-deep water and was attacked by leeches and insects before finally coming across a small hut. She rested there, where local woodcutters eventually found her. The men poured gasoline on her skin to clean worms from her wounds and, the next day, took her in a canoe to a lumber station from where she was airlifted to hospital.

Koepcke's story has been the subject of two films, the most recent being the 1999 Werner Herzog documentary Wings of Hope.

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I’m a survivor: 10 true tales of travel survivalStories of courage and tenacity in the face of nature at her fiercestKim WildmanMSN Travel contributor2010-05-04T11:14:522010-06-04T09:50:07What would you do if you found yourself plunged deep into the Amazon jungle, the sole survivor of a mid-air accident? Or suddenly stuck in an ice cave, courtesy of a deadly blizzard, for 13 days? Or if you faced the choice between starvation and survival - depending on whether you would sever your own limb?Ask yourself how you would cope in extremis as you read these incredible accounts of survival against the odds.151621527A South African dive crew(©Tim Rock/Lonely Planet)The world’s most dangerous travel activities152037291Lily Allen performs during the Exit music festival in Novi Sad, Serbia, last year(©PA)Thirty things to do before you’re 30149582315Men watch volcanic smoke arise from rocks on Tristan da Cunha (Image © James P. Blair/Getty)The world's remotest destinationsThe most dangerous destinations on EarthTravel's riskiest (but thrilling) activities...... or the world's safest placesVideo: Try your hand at shark-feedingWant more quirky travel stories?The school rugby teamFor a Uruguayan rugby team, what started out as a school alumni trip to play a friendly game ended in a grim match against death. The team, along with family and friends, were on their way to Chile on 13 October 1972 when their plane crashed in the Andean mountains. The crash itself took 13 lives, and several more people onboard, succumbing to injury and cold, died in the following days. Of the 29 who were alive a few days after the accident, another eight were killed by an avalanche. The determination of the remaining 16 survivors was further tested by hearing on their radio that rescuers had given them up for dead... (read on)topThis field has been disabled for Gallery V2Survivors of the Uruguayan plane that crashed in the Andens mountains(©AP/PA)Survivors of the Uruguayan plane that crashed in the Andens mountains(©AP/PA)Survivors of the Uruguayan plane that crashed in the Andens mountains(©AP/PA)Survivors of the Uruguayan plane that crashed in the Andens mountains(©AP/PA)Survivors of the Uruguayan plane that crashed in the Andens mountains(©AP/PA)Survivors of the Uruguayan plane that crashed in the Andens mountains(©AP/PA)Survivors of the Uruguayan plane that crashed in the Andens mountains(©AP/PA)Survivors of the Uruguayan plane that crashed in the Andens mountains(©AP/PA)Survivors of the Uruguayan plane that crashed in the Andens mountains(©AP/PA)Survivors of the Uruguayan plane that crashed in the Andens mountains(©AP/PA)Survivors of the Uruguayan plane that crashed in the Andens mountains(©AP/PA)Survivors of the Uruguayan plane that crashed in the Andens mountains(©AP/PA)Survivors of the Uruguayan plane that crashed in the Andens mountains(©AP/PA)Survivors of the Uruguayan plane that crashed in the Andens mountains(©AP/PA)Survivors of the Uruguayan plane that crashed in the Andens mountains(©AP/PA)Survivors of the Uruguayan plane that crashed in the Andens mountains(©AP/PA)Survivors of the Uruguayan plane that crashed in the Andens mountains(©AP/PA)Survivors of the Uruguayan plane that crashed in the Andens mountains(©AP/PA)Survivors of the Uruguayan plane that crashed in the Andens mountains(©AP/PA)Survivors of the Uruguayan plane that crashed in the Andens mountains(©AP/PA)Survivors of the Uruguayan plane that crashed in the Andens mountains(©AP/PA)Survivors of the Uruguayan plane that crashed in the Andens mountains(©AP/PA)Survivors of the Uruguayan plane that crashed in the Andens mountains(©AP/PA)Survivors of the Uruguayan plane that crashed in the Andens mountains(©AP/PA)Survivors of the Uruguayan plane that crashed in the Andens mountains(©AP/PA)Survivors of the Uruguayan plane that crashed in the Andens mountains(©AP/PA)Survivors of the Uruguayan plane that crashed in the Andens mountains(©AP/PA)Survivors of the Uruguayan plane that crashed in the Andens mountains(©AP/PA)Survivors of the Uruguayan plane that crashed in the Andens mountains(©AP/PA)Survivors of the Uruguayan plane that crashed in the Andens mountains(©AP/PA)Survivors of the Uruguayan plane that crashed in the Andens mountains(©AP/PA)Survivors of the Uruguayan plane that crashed in the Andens mountains(©AP/PA)Survivors of the Uruguayan plane that crashed in the Andens mountains(©AP/PA)Survivors of the Uruguayan plane that crashed in the Andens mountains(©AP/PA)Survivors of the Uruguayan plane that crashed in the Andens mountains(©AP/PA)Survivors of the Uruguayan plane that crashed in the Andens mountains(©AP/PA)Survivors of the Uruguayan plane that crashed in the Andens mountains(©AP/PA)Survivors of the Uruguayan plane that crashed in the Andens mountains(©AP/PA)Survivors of the Uruguayan plane that crashed in the Andens mountains(©AP/PA)The school rugby team... Faced with starvation, the survivors controversially resorted to feeding off already dead passengers after their food rations ran out. Then, with little hope of being rescued, two of the passengers trekked for 12 days across the Andes, leading to the rescue of the remaining survivors 75 days after the initial crash.Their story was documented in Piers Paul Read's book, Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors, later dramatised in the 1993 film Alive, starring Ethan Hawke, and was recently retold in Gonzalo Arijon's 2007 documentary Stranded: I Have Come from a Plane that Crashed on the Mountains.topThis field has been disabled for Gallery V2Sergio Catalan and Roberto Canessa reunitedSergio Catalan and Roberto Canessa reunitedSergio Catalan and Roberto Canessa reunitedSergio Catalan and Roberto Canessa reunitedSergio Catalan and Roberto Canessa reunitedSergio Catalan and Roberto Canessa reunitedSergio Catalan and Roberto Canessa reunitedSergio Catalan and Roberto Canessa reunitedSergio Catalan and Roberto Canessa reunitedThe Amazon backpackersFor a group of young backpackers in 1981, a trip of a lifetime hiking through the heart of the Bolivian Amazon soon turned into a deadly nightmare. Soon after the four travellers set off on their adventure, they were lost in the jungle. After weeks of wandering aimlessly, they broke off into two pairs. Marcus Stamm from Switzerland and an Austrian named Karl were to head back to La Paz - they were never found.The Israeli-born Yossi Ghinsberg and his American friend Kevin Wallace, however, decided to float a raft downriver. Disaster struck when the raft hit a rock as it neared a waterfall. Wallace somehow scrambled to shore but Ghinsberg was thrown over the falls - incredibly, he survived... (read on)topThis field has been disabled for Gallery V2Jaguar(©Ralph Hopkins/Lonely Planet)Jaguar(©Ralph Hopkins/Lonely Planet)Jaguar(©Ralph Hopkins/Lonely Planet)Jaguar(©Ralph Hopkins/Lonely Planet)Jaguar(©Ralph Hopkins/Lonely Planet)Jaguar(©Ralph Hopkins/Lonely Planet)Jaguar(©Ralph Hopkins/Lonely Planet)Jaguar(©Ralph Hopkins/Lonely Planet)Jaguar(©Ralph Hopkins/Lonely Planet)The Amazon backpackers... Alone, Ghinsberg wandered for 19 days along the river eating fruit and eggs scavenged from bird nests. He almost drowned in a flood, nearly sunk in a bog and survived a late-night encounter with a jaguar. Fortunately, Wallace found his way back to safety and returned with a small rescue party, eventually locating a very grateful, and somewhat malnourished, Ghinsberg.Ghinsberg recounted his incredible story of survival in his 2009 book, Lost in the Jungle. topThis field has been disabled for Gallery V2Ghinsberg on the Discovery Channel(©Getty)Ghinsberg on the Discovery Channel(©Getty)Ghinsberg on the Discovery Channel(©Getty)Ghinsberg on the Discovery Channel(©Getty)Ghinsberg on the Discovery Channel(©Getty)Ghinsberg on the Discovery Channel(©Getty)Ghinsberg on the Discovery Channel(©Getty)Ghinsberg on the Discovery Channel(©Getty)Ghinsberg on the Discovery Channel(©Getty)Juliane KoepckeOne of the most courageous stories of survival is that of Juliane Koepcke. On Christmas Eve 1971, the then 17-year-old was travelling with her mother on a flight from Lima, Peru, to Pucallpa when their plane was struck by lightning and broke up in midair. The last thing Koepcke remembered was spinning through the air. She awoke three hours later, still strapped into her seat, to find herself in the middle of the Amazon jungle. Koepcke searched in vain for her mother but found only empty seats and dead bodies. Of the 92 people on board, the teenager was the lone survivor... (read on)topThis field has been disabled for Gallery V2Survivor Juliane Koepcke writes a note to friends following her return to Lima, Peru(©AP/PA)Survivor Juliane Koepcke writes a note to friends following her return to Lima, Peru(©AP/PA)Survivor Juliane Koepcke writes a note to friends following her return to Lima, Peru(©AP/PA)Survivor Juliane Koepcke writes a note to friends following her return to Lima, Peru(©AP/PA)Survivor Juliane Koepcke writes a note to friends following her return to Lima, Peru(©AP/PA)Survivor Juliane Koepcke writes a note to friends following her return to Lima, Peru(©AP/PA)Survivor Juliane Koepcke writes a note to friends following her return to Lima, Peru(©AP/PA)Survivor Juliane Koepcke writes a note to friends following her return to Lima, Peru(©AP/PA)Survivor Juliane Koepcke writes a note to friends following her return to Lima, Peru(©AP/PA)Survivor Juliane Koepcke writes a note to friends following her return to Lima, Peru(©AP/PA)Survivor Juliane Koepcke writes a note to friends following her return to Lima, Peru(©AP/PA)Survivor Juliane Koepcke writes a note to friends following her return to Lima, Peru(©AP/PA)Survivor Juliane Koepcke writes a note to friends following her return to Lima, Peru(©AP/PA)Survivor Juliane Koepcke writes a note to friends following her return to Lima, Peru(©AP/PA)Survivor Juliane Koepcke writes a note to friends following her return to Lima, Peru(©AP/PA)Survivor Juliane Koepcke writes a note to friends following her return to Lima, Peru(©AP/PA)Survivor Juliane Koepcke writes a note to friends following her return to Lima, Peru(©AP/PA)Survivor Juliane Koepcke writes a note to friends following her return to Lima, Peru(©AP/PA)Survivor Juliane Koepcke writes a note to friends following her return to Lima, Peru(©AP/PA)Survivor Juliane Koepcke writes a note to friends following her return to Lima, Peru(©AP/PA)Survivor Juliane Koepcke writes a note to friends following her return to Lima, Peru(©AP/PA)Survivor Juliane Koepcke writes a note to friends following her return to Lima, Peru(©AP/PA)Survivor Juliane Koepcke writes a note to friends following her return to Lima, Peru(©AP/PA)Survivor Juliane Koepcke writes a note to friends following her return to Lima, Peru(©AP/PA)Survivor Juliane Koepcke writes a note to friends following her return to Lima, Peru(©AP/PA)Survivor Juliane Koepcke writes a note to friends following her return to Lima, Peru(©AP/PA)Survivor Juliane Koepcke writes a note to friends following her return to Lima, Peru(©AP/PA)Survivor Juliane Koepcke writes a note to friends following her return to Lima, Peru(©AP/PA)Survivor Juliane Koepcke writes a note to friends following her return to Lima, Peru(©AP/PA)Survivor Juliane Koepcke writes a note to friends following her return to Lima, Peru(©AP/PA)Survivor Juliane Koepcke writes a note to friends following her return to Lima, Peru(©AP/PA)Survivor Juliane Koepcke writes a note to friends following her return to Lima, Peru(©AP/PA)Survivor Juliane Koepcke writes a note to friends following her return to Lima, Peru(©AP/PA)Survivor Juliane Koepcke writes a note to friends following her return to Lima, Peru(©AP/PA)Survivor Juliane Koepcke writes a note to friends following her return to Lima, Peru(©AP/PA)Survivor Juliane Koepcke writes a note to friends following her return to Lima, Peru(©AP/PA)Survivor Juliane Koepcke writes a note to friends following her return to Lima, Peru(©AP/PA)Survivor Juliane Koepcke writes a note to friends following her return to Lima, Peru(©AP/PA)Survivor Juliane Koepcke writes a note to friends following her return to Lima, Peru(©AP/PA)Juliane Koepcke... Despite a broken collarbone and other injuries, Koepcke trekked for nine days through the rainforest to find help. Following a stream, she at times waded through knee-deep water and was attacked by leeches and insects before finally coming across a small hut. She rested there, where local woodcutters eventually found her. The men poured gasoline on her skin to clean worms from her wounds and, the next day, took her in a canoe to a lumber station from where she was airlifted to hospital.Koepcke's story has been the subject of two films, the most recent being the 1999 Werner Herzog documentary Wings of Hope.topThis field has been disabled for Gallery V2Seventeen-year-old Juliane Koepcke(©AP/PA)Seventeen-year-old Juliane Koepcke(©AP/PA)Seventeen-year-old Juliane Koepcke(©AP/PA)Seventeen-year-old Juliane Koepcke(©AP/PA)Seventeen-year-old Juliane Koepcke(©AP/PA)Seventeen-year-old Juliane Koepcke(©AP/PA)Seventeen-year-old Juliane Koepcke(©AP/PA)Seventeen-year-old Juliane Koepcke(©AP/PA)Seventeen-year-old Juliane Koepcke(©AP/PA)Stuck in an ice caveIn November 1982, two mountaineers, Mark Inglis and Phil Doole, set out to climb Aoraki Mount Cook, New Zealand's highest mountain. The pair's ascent was halted, however, when they were surrounded by a white storm. Stranded, they built a snow cave to wait out the raging blizzard, but it would be 13 days before help could reach them. Although the two men survived on minimal rations, they both suffered extreme frostbite and their legs were later amputated below the knee... (read on)topThis field has been disabled for Gallery V2Mark Inglis's frostbitten hands(©Ross Setford/PA)Mark Inglis's frostbitten hands(©Ross Setford/PA)Mark Inglis's frostbitten hands(©Ross Setford/PA)Mark Inglis's frostbitten hands(©Ross Setford/PA)Mark Inglis's frostbitten hands(©Ross Setford/PA)Mark Inglis's frostbitten hands(©Ross Setford/PA)Mark Inglis's frostbitten hands(©Ross Setford/PA)Mark Inglis's frostbitten hands(©Ross Setford/PA)Mark Inglis's frostbitten hands(©Ross Setford/PA)Stuck in an ice cave... Returning to Mt Cook in 2002, Inglis's successful ascent was documented in the film No Mean Feat; Doole finally fulfilled his dream in 2009. Inglis also conquered Mt Everest, in 2006, the first double amputee to do so.topThis field has been disabled for Gallery V2Mark Inglis in 2006(©PA)Mark Inglis in 2006(©PA)Mark Inglis in 2006(©PA)Mark Inglis in 2006(©PA)Mark Inglis in 2006(©PA)Mark Inglis in 2006(©PA)Mark Inglis in 2006(©PA)Mark Inglis in 2006(©PA)Mark Inglis in 2006(©PA)Lost at sea IOn 29 January 1982, Steve Callahan set sail from El Hierro, the smallest of the Canary Islands, to Antigua in Napoleon Solo, a one-man sail boat. Six days into his journey, the craft, which he had designed and built himself, capsized. Spared only minutes before the small boat sank, Callahan escaped on a life raft with only some basic emergency equipment - and for the next 76 days battled loneliness, hunger and countless shark attacks... (read on)topThis field has been disabled for Gallery V2Waves crash on the shore at El Hierro(©Damien Simonis/Lonely Planet)Waves crash on the shore at El Hierro(©Damien Simonis/Lonely Planet)Waves crash on the shore at El Hierro(©Damien Simonis/Lonely Planet)Waves crash on the shore at El Hierro(©Damien Simonis/Lonely Planet)Waves crash on the shore at El Hierro(©Damien Simonis/Lonely Planet)Waves crash on the shore at El Hierro(©Damien Simonis/Lonely Planet)Waves crash on the shore at El Hierro(©Damien Simonis/Lonely Planet)Waves crash on the shore at El Hierro(©Damien Simonis/Lonely Planet)Waves crash on the shore at El Hierro(©Damien Simonis/Lonely Planet)Lost at sea I... It was only through sheer determination and ingenuity that Callahan survived - he fished with a makeshift spear, drank water filtered through a solar still and patched up his constantly leaking raft. On the eve of his 76th day adrift, he spied the island of Marie Galante on the horizon and was picked up by fishermen offshore the next morning.Callahan detailed his ordeal in the 1999 bestseller Adrift: 76 Days Lost at Sea. topThis field has been disabled for Gallery V2Steve Callahan pokes his head from his life raft(©Pat Wellenbach/PA)Steve Callahan pokes his head from his life raft(©Pat Wellenbach/PA)Steve Callahan pokes his head from his life raft(©Pat Wellenbach/PA)Steve Callahan pokes his head from his life raft(©Pat Wellenbach/PA)Steve Callahan pokes his head from his life raft(©Pat Wellenbach/PA)Steve Callahan pokes his head from his life raft(©Pat Wellenbach/PA)Steve Callahan pokes his head from his life raft(©Pat Wellenbach/PA)Steve Callahan pokes his head from his life raft(©Pat Wellenbach/PA)Steve Callahan pokes his head from his life raft(©Pat Wellenbach/PA)Lost at sea IIIn 1983 a dream sailing trip turned into a living nightmare for an American woman and her British fiance. Charged with transporting the luxury 44-foot sailboat Hazana from Tahiti to San Diego, Tami Oldham Ashcraft and Richard Sharp were two weeks into their journey when they were caught in a category four hurricane. With the deadly storm stirring up 15-metre waves, Ashcraft sought refuge below deck while Sharp tried in vain to maintain control of the boat... (read on)topThis field has been disabled for Gallery V2Satellite photo showing tropical weather(©NASA/PA)Satellite photo showing tropical weather(©NASA/PA)Satellite photo showing tropical weather(©NASA/PA)Satellite photo showing tropical weather(©NASA/PA)Satellite photo showing tropical weather(©NASA/PA)Satellite photo showing tropical weather(©NASA/PA)Satellite photo showing tropical weather(©NASA/PA)Satellite photo showing tropical weather(©NASA/PA)Satellite photo showing tropical weather(©NASA/PA)Lost at sea II... Despite Sharp's efforts, the couple's craft eventually capsized and, when Ashcraft regained consciousness 27 hours later, Sharp was gone. While the boat had righted itself, the main mast had snapped, the engine and electronic equipment had failed, and the cabin was partially flooded. Severely injured, Ashcraft fought the desire to give up and instead fixed a makeshift mast and sail and plotted a course for Hawaii, an astounding 2,414km away. Forty days later she sailed into Hilo Harbor, weighing only 45kg but happy to be alive.Ashcraft eventually recounted her story in the 2000 book Red Sky in Mourning.topThis field has been disabled for Gallery V2A rainbow appears over Big Island, Hawaii(©Sami Sarkis/Getty)A rainbow appears over Big Island, Hawaii(©Sami Sarkis/Getty)A rainbow appears over Big Island, Hawaii(©Sami Sarkis/Getty)A rainbow appears over Big Island, Hawaii(©Sami Sarkis/Getty)A rainbow appears over Big Island, Hawaii(©Sami Sarkis/Getty)A rainbow appears over Big Island, Hawaii(©Sami Sarkis/Getty)A rainbow appears over Big Island, Hawaii(©Sami Sarkis/Getty)A rainbow appears over Big Island, Hawaii(©Sami Sarkis/Getty)A rainbow appears over Big Island, Hawaii(©Sami Sarkis/Getty)Out of the voidWhen Joe Simpson and Simon Yates set out to conquer 20,813ft Mt Siula Grande, in the Peruvian Andes, in 1985, little did they realise how greatly their strength and their friendship would be tested. The pair struck disaster twice on their descent from the summit during a zero-visibility storm. First, Simpson slipped and broke his leg. Then, as Yates was lowering him down the mountainside, Simpson went over a cliff and was left dangling on the end of the rope. Unable to see or hear his companion, Yates struggled for an hour to hold the rope while he too was slowly being dragged over the edge... (read on)topThis field has been disabled for Gallery V2Simon Yates on an ice climb(©Jim McKnight/PA)Simon Yates on an ice climb(©Jim McKnight/PA)Simon Yates on an ice climb(©Jim McKnight/PA)Simon Yates on an ice climb(©Jim McKnight/PA)Simon Yates on an ice climb(©Jim McKnight/PA)Simon Yates on an ice climb(©Jim McKnight/PA)Simon Yates on an ice climb(©Jim McKnight/PA)Simon Yates on an ice climb(©Jim McKnight/PA)Simon Yates on an ice climb(©Jim McKnight/PA)Out of the void... Faced with little choice, Yates cut the rope, sending Simpson plummeting to an almost certain death. Yates made it back to base camp and, consumed with guilt, assumed the worst. Astoundingly, however, Simpson had survived the 30-metre drop, landing on a ledge inside a crevasse. Despite severe injury, he returned to the surface and, crawling back to base camp over three days, arrived hours before Yates intended on leaving.The pair's epic tale of survival is graphically retold in the 2003 documentary Touching the Void, based on Simpson's book of the same name.topThis field has been disabled for Gallery V2Still from the 2003 documentary Touching the Void(©Rex Features)Still from Touching the Void(©Rex Features)Still from Touching the Void(©Rex Features)Still from Touching the Void(©Rex Features)Still from Touching the Void(©Rex Features)Still from Touching the Void(©Rex Features)Still from Touching the Void(©Rex Features)Still from Touching the Void(©Rex Features)Still from Touching the Void(©Rex Features)Running on empty"All I could think about was that I was going to die a horrible death," Mauro Prosperi, an Italian police officer and pentathlete, told an interviewer after surviving 10 days lost in the Moroccan Sahara. A keen endurance runner, the 39-year-old was taking part in the 1994 Marathon des Sables - a six-day, 233km run across the Sahara - when a fierce sandstorm blew up and obscured the course. Disorientated, he became hopelessly lost and eventually ran several hundred kilometres off into Algeria... (read on)topThis field has been disabled for Gallery V2Libyan desert(©John Moore/AP/PA)Libyan desert(©John Moore/AP/PA)Libyan desert(©John Moore/AP/PA)Libyan desert(©John Moore/AP/PA)Libyan desert(©John Moore/AP/PA)Libyan desert(©John Moore/AP/PA)Libyan desert(©John Moore/AP/PA)Libyan desert(©John Moore/AP/PA)Libyan desert(©John Moore/AP/PA)Running on empty... When his supplies ran out, Prosperi survived by drinking his own urine and eating raw bats, lizards and snakes. Convinced he wouldn't last another day without water, Prosperi cut his wrists with his penknife and lay down to die. The attempt failed because lack of water caused his blood to thicken and clot the wound. After nine days in the desert, the runner was eventually found by a nomadic family - 299km off-route, 18kg lighter and on the verge of liver failure - and taken on camelback to a nearby village.The National Geographic Channel told Prosperi's story in a documentary entitled Expeditions to the Edge: Sahara Nightmare.topThis field has been disabled for Gallery V2Camels walk on a salt road across the Sahara desert(©Brennan Linsley/PA)Camels walk on a salt road across the Sahara desert(©Brennan Linsley/PA)Camels walk on a salt road across the Sahara desert(©Brennan Linsley/PA)Camels walk on a salt road across the Sahara desert(©Brennan Linsley/PA)Camels walk on a salt road across the Sahara desert(©Brennan Linsley/PA)Camels walk on a salt road across the Sahara desert(©Brennan Linsley/PA)Camels walk on a salt road across the Sahara desert(©Brennan Linsley/PA)Camels walk on a salt road across the Sahara desert(©Brennan Linsley/PA)Camels walk on a salt road across the Sahara desert(©Brennan Linsley/PA)Between a rock and a hard placeWhile we often say we'd give our right arm for something we desire, not many of us would voluntarily amputate that limb. But on 1 May 2003, after a 360kg boulder fell and pinned him to a canyon wall in a remote part of Utah's Bluejohn Canyon, this was Aron Ralston's drastic only option... (read on)topThis field has been disabled for Gallery V2A view of Bluejohn Canyon(©Mickey Krakowski/PA)A view of Bluejohn Canyon(©Mickey Krakowski/PA)A view of Bluejohn Canyon(©Mickey Krakowski/PA)A view of Bluejohn Canyon(©Mickey Krakowski/PA)A view of Bluejohn Canyon(©Mickey Krakowski/PA)A view of Bluejohn Canyon(©Mickey Krakowski/PA)A view of Bluejohn Canyon(©Mickey Krakowski/PA)A view of Bluejohn Canyon(©Mickey Krakowski/PA)A view of Bluejohn Canyon(©Mickey Krakowski/PA)Between a rock and a hard place... After five days trying fruitlessly to shift the boulder, Ralston decided the only way he could survive was to cut his arm off. Using the boulder to leverage the limb, he snapped the bones and then used a pocketknife and a pair of pliers to saw away at muscle and tendon until he was free. Ralston then rappelled down a 20-metre wall, before hikers found him as he walked back to his car.Ralston has since retold his tale of pain and courage in a 2005 book titled, with macabre humour, Between a Rock and a Hard Place.topThis field has been disabled for Gallery V2Aron Ralson at a press conference following his ordeal(©Ed Andrieski/PA)Aron Ralson at a press conference following his ordeal(©Ed Andrieski/PA)Aron Ralson at a press conference following his ordeal(©Ed Andrieski/PA)Aron Ralson at a press conference following his ordeal(©Ed Andrieski/PA)Aron Ralson at a press conference following his ordeal(©Ed Andrieski/PA)Aron Ralson at a press conference following his ordeal(©Ed Andrieski/PA)Aron Ralson at a press conference following his ordeal(©Ed Andrieski/PA)Aron Ralson at a press conference following his ordeal(©Ed Andrieski/PA)Aron Ralson at a press conference following his ordeal(©Ed Andrieski/PA)Lost in the OutbackThe Australian Outback is a vast and unforgiving place. Just ask Ricky McGee. In 2006, the 35-year-old Australian incredibly managed to survive 71 days lost in this hot and dry expanse without supplies. His two-month ordeal began after he was allegedly drugged and left for dead by a hitchhiker he had picked up on an isolated road south of Halls Creek in Western Australia... (read on)topThis field has been disabled for Gallery V2A long, unforgiving road in the Australian outback(©Richard L'Anson/Lonely Planet)A long, unforgiving road in the Australian outback(©Richard L'Anson/Lonely Planet)A long, unforgiving road in the Australian outback(©Richard L'Anson/Lonely Planet)A long, unforgiving road in the Australian outback(©Richard L'Anson/Lonely Planet)A long, unforgiving road in the Australian outback(©Richard L'Anson/Lonely Planet)A long, unforgiving road in the Australian outback(©Richard L'Anson/Lonely Planet)A long, unforgiving road in the Australian outback(©Richard L'Anson/Lonely Planet)A long, unforgiving road in the Australian outback(©Richard L'Anson/Lonely Planet)A long, unforgiving road in the Australian outback(©Richard L'Anson/Lonely Planet)Lost in the Outback... Disorientated and suffering from exposure, McGee survived by eating insects, frogs, lizards and snakes and staying close to a well-watered dam. When he was discovered, 10 weeks later, by workers from a nearby station he had shed an astounding 60kg. While there is some dispute as to the truth of his story, it is clear that, for whatever reason, McGee was lost for some time and was lucky to be alive.In 2009 McGee set the record straight with his memoir, Left for Dead in the Outback.topThis field has been disabled for Gallery V2View of the Uluru Desert, Australia(©Rachel Lewis/Lonely Planet)View of the Uluru Desert, Australia(©Rachel Lewis/Lonely Planet)View of the Uluru Desert, Australia(©Rachel Lewis/Lonely Planet)View of the Uluru Desert, Australia(©Rachel Lewis/Lonely Planet)View of the Uluru Desert, Australia(©Rachel Lewis/Lonely Planet)View of the Uluru Desert, Australia(©Rachel Lewis/Lonely Planet)View of the Uluru Desert, Australia(©Rachel Lewis/Lonely Planet)View of the Uluru Desert, Australia(©Rachel Lewis/Lonely Planet)View of the Uluru Desert, Australia(©Rachel Lewis/Lonely Planet)Survivor(PA)Survivor(PA)Survivor(PA)Survivor(PA)Survivor(PA)Survivor(PA)Survivor(PA)Survivor(PA)Survivor(PA)Survivor(PA)Survivor(PA)Survivor(PA)Survivor(PA)Survivor(PA)Survivor(PA)Survivor(PA)Survivor(PA)Survivor(PA)Survivor(PA)Survivor(PA)Survivor(PA)Survivor(PA)Survivor(PA)Survivor(PA)Survivor(PA)Survivor(PA)Survivor(PA)Survivor(PA)Survivor(PA)Survivor(PA)Survivor(PA)

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