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Other isolated survivors tell what kept them alive
(AP) ^ | 21 hours ago | SETH BORENSTEIN

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 ...


TOPICS: Science
KEYWORDS: chili; isolation; trappedminers

1 posted on 08/26/2010 9:47:47 AM PDT by BenLurkin
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To: BenLurkin

Eduardo Strauch


2 posted on 08/26/2010 9:51:59 AM PDT by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet - Visualize)
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To: BenLurkin
This reminds me of the Sunshine Mine disaster in Idaho back in 1972. Two men who were trapped in the mine after a fire broke out survived by making their way to a remote part of the mine where there was no smoke condition, and they were rescued eight days later. I thought eight days was a long time, but for those guys in Chile to be down there for two months is really amazing.

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.

3 posted on 08/26/2010 10:02:57 AM PDT by Alberta's Child ("Let the Eastern bastards freeze in the dark.")
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To: BenLurkin
People interested in these types of issues may want to look into these really great reads: Desperate Journeys - Abandoned Souls...

...and The Lost City of Z.


4 posted on 08/26/2010 10:19:21 AM PDT by stormer
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To: stormer

Ping for later


5 posted on 08/26/2010 10:46:45 AM PDT by MissNomer
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To: stormer

Interesting. Thanks.


6 posted on 08/26/2010 11:11:01 AM PDT by BenLurkin (This post is not a statement of fact. It is merely a personal opinion -- or humor -- or both.)
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