Skip to comments.Other isolated survivors tell what kept them alive
Posted on 08/26/2010 9:47:44 AM PDT by BenLurkin
Astronaut Jerry Linenger and architect Eduardo Strauch know the remarkable quality that keeps the trapped Chilean miners going: the immense power of hope.
Linenger and Strauch are living proof of survival amid isolation. They say that power is in us all.
Thirteen years ago, Linenger was only a month into his four-month expedition on an aging Russian Mir space station when a near-deadly fire broke out. That was the beginning of harrowing experiences that included a near-crash and an oxygen system that kept breaking down. A return was months away. It was the space equivalent of what the miners may have to face.
"If the hope is out there, hope can get you through that ordeal," said Linenger, a medical doctor who had two Russian crewmates. "I think it's a testament to mankind, our DNA and our ability to survive."
The Aug. 6 collapse of a main shaft of a gold and silver mine that runs like a corkscrew for miles under a northern Chilean mountain trapped the 33 miners. They could reach many chambers in the depths and lived on two spoonfuls of tuna per person every other day. Their fate was unknown for 17 days until rescuers drilled a small bore-hole that allows those on the ground to send emergency supplies and communicate with the trapped people.
Strauch was one of 16 Uruguayan rugby team members who survived a 1972 crash in Chile's Andes mountains and had to wait for 72 days before being rescued. They forced themselves to eat the flesh of dead friends.
"I'm sure they are going to get out of there," Strauch, now 63, said of the miners. "In these circumstances, the instincts flourish to 100 percent, and from there the human qualities emerge, such as confidence in themselves."
(Excerpt) Read more at google.com ...
One big difference is that 91 miners perished in the Idaho disaster (the two miners were the only survivors among those who were trapped underground), and apparently those two guys had no communication with the outside world until they were rescued.
...and The Lost City of Z.
Ping for later