10 Harrowing Survival Stories


Lost at Sea

In January 1982, Steven Callahan set sail from the Canary Islands on a small boat he built himself. The boat sank six days into the trip, and Callahan was left adrift on a 5-foot (1.5-meter) life raft.

With only three pounds (1.3 kilograms) of food and eight pints of water, a solar still and a makeshift spear, Callahan managed to survive until his rescue 76 days later. During his two-plus months at sea, Callahan's raft traveled approximately 1,800 miles (2,898 kilometers).

Callahan had to contend with malnourishment, sunburn and repeated shark attacks. When his raft sprung a leak, Callahan was able to keep the raft afloat and managed the leak for 33 more days until his rescue.

Like other survivors before him, Callahan had valuable experience of sailing and shipbuilding to rely upon. However, the most important factor in his survival seems to be his unwavering determination to live.