20 Survivors Of Plane Crashes, Shipwrecks, And Other Gruesome Disasters Tell Their Story

These stories from Ask Reddit will make you thankful for every single breath.

8. Our aircraft struck high voltage power lines

“I was pilot-in-command of a small Cessna, taking my dad out for his first sightseeing ride on an October evening. He’d taken the backseat in one of my training sessions before, but this time was the first time the two of us were alone together and at liberty to go as we pleased.

After a while, I noticed that the engine had lost 300 RPM. I pushed the throttle to max… no change. Turned on the carb heat (if I remember correctly)… nope, still nothing. I began heading back to the airport, but as the power slowly diminished, I knew we wouldn’t make it back by a long shot. Conclusion: I had to get that bird down somewhere.

It was night time. Beneath me were patches of fields or forest, and I couldn’t tell which was which in the evening darkness. I opted for the only well-lit place in the circumstances: the freeway.

I made my emergency call, got a response, told my dad what I was about to do, and proceeded to fly the airplane. By the time I was on my so-called final approach, the engine was puttering along at a measly 1000 RPM despite a full-open throttle. All I had to do was to follow a slight bend in the freeway to the left, just past a viaduct, and I’d have three open lanes of road on which to land and probably surprise a few drivers along the way.

Huge black bars suddenly showed up in my field of vision, followed by bright white flashes of light. The aircraft had just struck high-voltage power lines.

By the time I was done screaming, the aircraft had rolled down in a side ditch and slammed itself against a fence.

Ambulances arrived within a minute, pulled my dad and I out, and raced us to the hospital. I awoke in a dimly-lit hospital room – dimly lit because of the city-wide power failure I’d just caused, which I realized once all the other lights turned on late at night and the nurses cheered at getting power back.

Somehow, I didn’t break anything, though I had a sore and stiff body for a few weeks, and my back became prone to locking for the next several years. My father had a few broken bones, but was judged stable and set to recover. However, he suddenly and unexpectedly succumbed to his wounds a week later.

I haven’t piloted an aircraft since, and have no desire to. I can be a passenger in an airliner or a commercial small aircraft without a problem, but my days of flying are over.” — Shurikane

9. Our boat threw us ten feet and starting sinking

“When I was 19 my buddy and I went fishing is a pretty big lake up in Gainesville Florida, I was sitting at the very front with the cooler to try to balance out the weight and while we were crossing the middle of the lake in our gheenoe we had a paddle strapped to the side and it caught the water while we were going about 20mph, it threw us probably 7-10 ft and immediately started sinking. About five minutes before that happened we decided to put both of our phones in a water proof box which ultimately saved us bc there was no one else out that day given it was a little chilly outside. So after we were in the water the boat started sinking fast but my friend and I stayed calm and started brainstorming on what we should do. First thing I did was swim down to the boat and by feel had to find the phones, once that happened we called the police but there response time was awful, we were treading in water that was cold enough to give us hypothermia, with the box that had our phones in it over our heads for about 50 minuets until the dispatch lady said they were commandeering someone else’s boat because there’s wasn’t starting. Once we got out the officers told us that they were expecting to find us dead either from getting stuck on the mushy bottom and drowning or by some of the big gators but luckily we didn’t encounter any of them. After the ambulance took our temperature and we came back fine they proceeded to makes sure we were okay then let us get on with our day. Life and death situations are no joke and they can happen at anytime. Make sure you are prepared mentally and physically, your life or your friends may depend on you and how you’ve trained.” — LordLogan27

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