Survival Stories

jessica buchanan
This Is What It’s Like to Survive 93 Days as a Hostage of Somali Terrorists

American aid worker Jessica Buchanan recounts her horrific three-month ordeal as a prisoner of… >>

11 Hours in Room 407
The Baby Who Refused to Die: 11 Hours in Room 407

Doctors said Austin Gerstenslager had zero chance of survival at birth, so his parents waited for… >>

Bode Beirdneau
This Quick-Thinking Kid Saved His Dad After a Snowmobile Accident

In the Lake Tahoe backcountry, 9-year-old Bode Beirdneau rode for miles in the snow to find help… >>

Ron Leming Jr. and Ron Leming Sr.
Father Kills Bear to Save Son

Deep in the wilderness, all that stands between an attacking grizzly and a hunter's life is a… >>

everyday heroes becky woltier
Attacked By a Wolf! What One Smart Cyclist Did to Save His Life

In the deserted Canadian backcountry, Becky and Paul Woltjer’s RV became a rescue vehicle for a… >>

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… >>

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… >>

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… >>

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… >>

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… >>

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… >>

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… >>

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. >>

Bart Corbin and Jennifer Corbin
Bart Corbin: Double Deception

A dentist's wife is dead. It looks like suicide. But the case turns out to be far more sinister. >>

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. >>

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. >>