Survival Stories

  • 152 Dead. One Survived.

    152 Dead. One Survived.

    The odds of living after even the most serious plane crash are 76 percent. The odds of being the only one left alive are… >>

texas bank robbers mugshot
He Taught His Kids the Family Trade: Robbing Banks

Widower Scott Catt had a secret life as a bank robber. But when he wanted accomplices, he turned to… >>

plane illustration
The Gift and the Guilt of the Sole Survivor

The odds of surviving even the most serious plane crash are 76 percent. The odds of being the only… >>

woman with frostbite
Frozen Back to Life: How Hypothermia Can Help Cheat Death

One hundred years ago, hypothermia was often lethal. Now doctors induce it to save people on the… >>

great white shark
Shark! Swimmer Fights Terror in Sudden Attack

Suddenly, the shark drags Denis back up to the surface. He gulps air before being dragged down… >>

ocean riptide
Terror at the Beach: Caught in a Riptide!

She looks around just in time to see a wave towering over her. There’s no time to duck this one… >>

boy buried in sand
The Boy Who Disappeared Under a Sand Dune

Colin hollers, "Nathan fell in this hole!" And then the hole collapses in on itself, the sugar sand… >>

January 1970 RD Classics
“I Escaped From Cuba in the Wheels of a DC-8″

This incredible Reader's Digest classic story of a teenager who escaped from Cuba by flying in the… >>

July 1976 RD Classics
Staring Down a Sawmill Chipper With Two Seconds to Live

Suddenly, young Ron Gillis was being pulled, inexorably, toward the whirling blades of the… >>

September 1984 RD Classics
A Reader’s Digest Classic: Kidnapped and Buried Alive!

His abductors had entombed him in a flimsy wooden box in the middle of nowhere. As days ticked by… >>

plane on tarmac
“I Was Kept on a Plane for 34 Hours”

About 250 trapped passengers watched helplessly as their plane was emptied of food, water, fuel… >>

flesh bacteria
“I Survived a Flesh-Eating Bacteria”

Author Hampton Sides was 41 years old, in the prime of life, and (he thought) in excellent health. >>

picture under water
Drama in Real Life: Trapped on the Bottom of the Ocean

Harrison Okene was the only survivor after his boat sank to the ocean floor. >>

picture frozen in ice
Drama in Real Life: Trapped in an Ice Cave

Three amateur explorers become trapped in a freezing cave by four feet of ice. Can they escape… >>

kraus family
Incredible: How One Couple Saved 50 Children From the Nazis

Gil and Eleanor Kraus, a well-to-do American couple, risked everything to come to the rescue. >>

man overboard boots
Man Overboard: The Lobsterman Who Mysteriously Vanished

No one could figure out when or where John Aldridge dropped into the ocean, with only his rubber… >>

grain silos
“I Was Buried Alive in a Grain Bin”

For hours, no one knew that Arick Baker had fallen into a 137-degree grain bin and was slowly being… >>

HMS bounty sinking
Drama at Sea: The Final Hours on the HMS Bounty

A cowboy captain sails an iconic tall ship into a hurricane—with deadly results. >>

colorado flood bedroom
“We Were Buried in a Mudslide!”

Michelle Grainger, Steve Le Goff, and their neighbors survived two days of raging floodwaters. It… >>

shark and scuba diver
What It’s Like to Punch a Shark

A few things went through my mind. The first was, Wow, that’s a very large shark. Second, It’s… >>

female pilot and airplane
She Landed Her Plane on the Hudson River

When her plane lost power, pilot Deniece De Priester pulled off a perfect water landing. >>