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.

5. I survived an airplane crash and suffered massive head trauma

“Here’s a question I can honestly answer: I survived an airplane crash. The story: My mother owned a few aircraft and hangar at our small town’s airport. I spent a lot of time at the airport as I was growing up spending summer washing airplanes, sweeping out hangars, etc. One warm summer afternoon in the mid-1980’s we planned to take a short flight in her Piper J-3 Cub. This plane was built in the mid-1940’s and had an aluminum skeleton covered in fabric and tandem seats, one in front, one in back. I sat in front due to the better view and my mom, the pilot, sat in back. I remember the pre-flight, and some taxiing to the runway, but nothing else. Now the rest of the story I received second hand. Neither my mom nor I remember anything of the actual accident due to the massive head trauma we both received. But what I’ve heard from family and the ambulance drivers who arrived on the scene is that on take off (the most dangerous part of any flight, imho) we lost power. Engine cut out, not really sure why. So with a relatively slow airspeed and no thrust from the engine we changed from being a beautiful flying machine to a brick, rather quickly. Well, we dropped like a brick and proceeded to hit the ground in a rather quick manner. The ambulance drivers who arrived on the scene thought we were done for. Things did not look good for us. But after a helicopter ride to the nearest trauma center a hundred miles away, we are still alive and breathing today. I spent about 5 weeks in the hospital, but only remember the last two. To remind me what happened I have nasty scars on my lower lip and chin and a dent on the side of head. One thing I find myself wondering is if I had the chance to relive the whole thing over again would I want to remember? At this point in my life I can say I would not. Such things are not worth remembering. And did we ever fly again? You bet. As soon as my mom was able to pass a flight physical we were both up in the air again.” — geneaskew

6. We were stuck inside of a deadly Australian bushfire

“I was stuck in a bushfire here in Australia. My SO, myself and our infant son were in the car evacuating on the only road out of our small town, we got very little warning as the fire moved so fast. Fire was coming on the right side of the road. Smoke everywhere, could hardly see. SO was driving and luckily saw the truck in front of us and stopped in time before hitting it. A semi-trailer truck (18 wheeler) had jack-knifed in the road and was blocking the way. We couldn’t see if anyone was in the truck and I was going to go out and check but the fire was now at the roadside on our right and years of fire safety education had taught me you stay in the car. We had a UHF radio in the car so tried to contact the truck on that with no response. The fire started to blow across the road and ignite the bush on our left. There were embers raining down on our car, we just stared at them bouncing off the car bonnet. I saw a flashing red glow in the smoke beyond the truck and it took a minute or so to work out what I was seeing, it was a fire service truck. I had to fight every bit of instinct I had in me which was screaming at me to grab my baby, hide him inside my clothes and run towards the red lights. I doubt I’d have made it, fire was literally blowing around in front of us but damn if that wasn’t the strongest instinct I’ve ever felt. I just sat there in the car repeating over and over to myself, ‘stay in the car, stay in the car.’ SO managed to contact the firies on the UHF to alert them to our presence. They sprayed water over us while a secondary truck drove through the burning scrub around the big truck to reach us and then the rest all was a blur, being transferred to their truck and driving out of there watching the bushfire raging behind us. Saw the news in hospital where they reported two deceased people found in that semi-trailer truck. Volunteer firefighters saved our lives.” — pedazzle

Thought Catalog

Thought Catalog is the online destination for culture, a place for content without the clutter. Coverage spans the ...

More From Thought Catalog