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Against All Odds



Highest Fall Survived Without A Parachute

Vesna Vulovic, a flight attendant from Yugoslavia, survived a fall from 10,160 m (33,330 ft) when the DC-9 airplane she was traveling in blew up over Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic), on January 26, 1972. A terrorist bomb was thought to be the cause, and no other passengers survived. Vesna broke both legs and was temporarily paralyzed from the waist down.

Vesna remembers nothing, but later learned that a former nurse, Bruno Henke, saw Vesna's legs sticking out of the fuselage. Bruno cleared Vesna's airways before rushing her to hospital. Three days later she awoke from a coma in a hospital in Ceska, Karmenice.

She says, "I was so lucky to have survived! I hit the earth not the trees, not the snow, but the frozen ground." Strangely, the first words she uttered, "Can I have a cigarette," were in English!

Luckily, she suffered no psychological trauma, and no fear of flying. Prevented from returning to her job, she forged a new career in administration. "I was able to fly over the world for free," she says. Her experience has helped her form a philosophical attitude towards life. "I believe we are masters of our lives - we hold all the cards and it is up to us to use them right."

Longest survival alone on a Raft

the longest recorded survival alone on a raft is 113 days by Second Steward Poon Lim [Hong Kong] of the UK Merchant Navy, whose ship was torpedoed in the Atlantic Ocean 565 miles west of St. Paul's Rocks on Nov 23, 1942. he was picked up by a Brazilian fishing boat off Salinopolis, Brazil, on April 5, 1943, and he was able to walk ashore.


Longest Elevator Fall Survived

Office workers Shameka Peterson and Joe Mascora dropped 40 storeys (400 ft) in four seconds down the Empire State Building, New York, USA, when the cable of the lift they were in failed on January 25, 2000. The pair, workers in different offices on the 44th story, took one of the building's 64 elevators to reach ground level. They stopped just four stories from the ground and both suffered minor bruising during their ordeal. A report by the New York City Council found that between 1992 and 1996 there had been 369 elevator accidents resulting in injuries to as many as 560 people, this is, an average of one every five days.

Youngest Titanic Survivor

Millvina Dean, born Elizabeth Gladys Dean on February 2, 1912, was only nine weeks old when she and elder brother Bertram were taken on what was thought to be the ultimate vacation.

The Deans were emigrating to Kansas, USA, where her father hoped to open a tobacconist shop, but he drowned when the Titanic sank so the family returned to England. Millvina escaped the shipwreck with her mother and brother in lifeboat No. 13. She became a celebrity socialite in her seventies!

Deepest Underwater Rescue

 The deepest-ever underwater rescue was that of Roger R. chapman and Roger Mallinson [UK] from the minisub Pisces III, in which they were trapped for 76 hours when it sank to 1,575 ft, 150 miles southeast of cork , Ireland on Aug 29 1973

Longest Survival without Food and Water

 The longest recorded case of survival without food and water is 18 days by and 18 year old Andreas Mihavecz [Austria]. he was put into a holding cell in a local government building in Austria, on April 1m 1979 but was totally forgotten but the police


Most Blown Up Woman

Explosives expert and entertainer Allison Bly has lain in the "Coffin of Death" and self-detonated the box over 1,500 times during her performing career. Bly has been performing the stunt regularly in her act since 1986. The explosives used in the stunt are known as deflagrating binary explosives and have a force inside the box equal to two sticks of dynamite.

Most Lightning Strikes Survived

The only man to be struck by lightning seven times was park ranger Roy C Sullivan, the "human lightning conductor", of Virginia, USA. In his lightning encounters from 1942 to 1977, Roy had his hair set alight, lost his big toe nail and eyebrows, and suffered injuries to his arms, legs, chest, and stomach. In September 1983 he killed himself, reportedly rejected in love.

Headless Chicken

On September 10, 1945, a Wyandotte chicken belonging to Lloyd Olsen of Fruita, Colorado, USA, had its head chopped off, but went on to survive for 18 months.

Highest Snatch And Rescue

A 21-men and one-woman fire team in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur pulled off this record-breaking feat on the world's tallest office building the Petronas Twin Towers which stands at 451.9 m (1,483 ft) from the street. The rescue began on the top storey the 88th, which is 378.25 m (1,241 ft) high. (The building's spires take it to over 1,400 ft!) There was no actual fire this was just a training exercise but strong gales and building design meant the "victims" had to be carried down in stages, from the 88th to the 82nd floor and so on, in either a gondola lift or strapped to a rappelling retriever

Greatest-Ever Lifesaving Operation

The greatest-ever rescue was that of 2,735 people from the American aircraft carrier CV-2 USS Lexington, on May 8, 1942, after it had been hit between Australia and New Caledonia during the Battle of the Coral Sea.

Longest Time Trapped In An Elevator

"This elevator is going to be my tomb!" That's what 76-year-old Kiveli Papajohn told herself as she spent six terrifying days hopelessly trapped inside an elevator so small she could not even lie down. Kiveli had only recently moved to Cyprus from her Manhattan home of 42 years when her elevator nightmare closed in. Ironically, she had decided to move back to her childhood home to enjoy the "quiet life". But the tomb-like shell of the elevator at her new block proved too quiet by far. Kiveli puts her survival down to two things. She kept her strength up by nibbling on a few tomatoes she fortunately had with her. But Kiveli says, "I tried to eat as little as possible because I didn't want to have to go to the bathroom". She also prayed to the virgin Mary, saying she had done nothing to deserve such a horrible death.

Lowest body Temperature

The lowest authenticated body temperature is 57.5 oF for two year old Karlee Kosolofski on Feb 23 1994. she had accidentally been locked outside her home for six hours in the temperature of -8 oF. Despites severe frostbite, which meant amputation of her left leg above the knee she has made a full recovery,.

Longest submergence survival

In 1986 2 year old Michelle Frank [USA] made a full recovery after spending 66 minutes underwater having fallen into a swollen creek




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