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13 tales of survival from around the world

These survivors experienced extraordinary circumstances; hurricanes, tornadoes, and avalanches, and lived to tell the tale.

- Contributor

Missing teen Nicholas Joy was found alive after two harrowing days lost in Maine. The missing teen was found alive by a snowmobiler, and survived two nights by making a snow cave. (AP / Maine Warden Service)

Snow cave helps teen survive 2 nights in Maine wilderness

In early March 2013, 17-year-old Nicholas Joy of Medford, Mass., tried to find a shortcut through the woods while skiing and became lost west of Sugarloaf Mountain in Maine.

Nicholas's father, Adam Joy, knew his son was missing when he didn’t meet him in the ski resort parking lot as planned. The Sugarloaf ski patrol, the Maine Forest Service, the US Border Patrol, and other area rescue squads and volunteers searched for Nicholas for two days and two nights, though weather conditions were bad enough at night that the search had to be suspended.

Nicholas, recalling survival reality TV shows he’d watched, made himself a shelter out of a mound of snow and tree branches. He also tried to start a fire by rubbing two sticks together. Nicholas had no food or cellphone with him.

A volunteer firefighter who was not part of the official search parties found the teenager the morning of the third day. Nicholas was hungry, tired, and cold – but unharmed. 

“He did the right thing in building a snow cave,” Mr. Joy told The Associated Press. “Obviously he’s still alive to talk about it, so he made some good decisions.” 


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