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.

7. Our boat broke into pieces so we were forced to jump into the water

“When I was 9, we were traveling from our cabin back to town with a open boat. This was right before easter. About a 45 min trip. The seas were rough and the boat had a built in flaw that caused it to break in two pieces due to the pounding on the waves. I sat faced towards the back, so I didn’t see it break, just suddenly had water up to my waist. When I turned around the nose was floating a couple of meters away from the boat. My moms husband at the time just said “jump” and so we did, into the black 2 degree water of the north sea, as far away from the boat as possible. This was by far the scariest moment. Her husband managed to launch 2 emergency rockets before the boat vanished below him. He was a very poor swimmer, and even though we tried to hold on to him, he got away from us due to large waves constantly covering us. After that it was about 10 min of trying to swim to shore which was about 400m away, before realizing we were never going to make it. After that we basically dodged waves and made bad taste jokes. We saw people on the shore, cars stopped on the highway. The last thing I remember before blacking out is a boat aproaching. Then I woke up in the hospital basically trashing around from the cramps of my body trying to warm up. Apparantly I had a temp of 27 degrees when they brought me in. My mom was awake the whole time. She lost control of her limbs right after I blacked out, and gripped a rope from my lifewest with her teeth so I wouldnt float away. Even though though this is a scary story there are some awesome elements to it. An old fisherman in a house by the shore saw the whole thing. He was desperatly trying to get a hold of rescue services, but noone was where they were supposed to be. His wife having lost both her previous husband and also a son at sea had some kind of a health issue while watching us swim around. So he had to take care of her, and try to get us help. The most badass part of the story is how we got rescued. One of my moms husbands friends got a call about what was happening. Got in his boat with his 8 month pregnant wife, and went full speed to our location. The boat he had was not designed for high seas. It was a summer type cabin cruiser. So he had to steer it towards the waves at all times. His wife then proceeded to pull 3 fully clothed people up to safety. Including an unconscious me. If anyone has ever tried to pull someone out of the water, you know how difficult it is. We all survived, I was totally fine, aside from my balls swelling up to 3 times the normal size for a couple of days. Mom tore a bunch of stuff in her back. Husband swallowed about 4 liters of saltwater and was sick for week.” — Codvodka

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

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