25 Incredible Rescue Stories That Will Blow Your Mind

Posted by , Updated on April 23, 2024

Have you been part of a rescue story? Any first responder will tell you that there is nothing quite like saving someone’s life. Today, we’re going to look at some of the most incredible rescue stories ever. They took place on battlefields, oceans, and even underground! Hopefully, you will be encouraged by the virtue and solidarity that is reflected in these rescues. Check out these 25 Incredible Rescue Stories That Will Blow Your Mind!



Apollo 13

Apollo 13Source: seeker.com

In 1970, during NASA’s seventh manned mission to the moon, an oxygen tank exploded on Apollo 13 while it was mid-flight. With the help of engineers on the ground, the astronauts jury-rigged the CO2 removal system and safely made it back to Earth.


Tommy the Cat

Tommy the catSource: rd.com

When officer Patrick Daughtery entered Gary Rosheisen’s home in 2005, he found Gary laying on the ground next to his wheelchair. His cat, Tommy, was lying near the phone. When the 911 call came in to dispatch, a police officer was sent to the scene because there was silence on the line. Rosheisen later explained how he had once tried to teach Tommy to dial 911 but wasn’t sure if it had worked…until that day!


The Heimlich Hound

The Heimlich HoundSource: yahoo.com

When Debbie Parkhurst choked on an apple in her home, she tried to do the Heimlich maneuver on herself. Unsuccessful, her dog Toby then reared up, pushed her to the ground, and jumped on her chest until the apple came loose!


Fire Dog

Fire dogSource: huffingtonpost.com

When Candace Jennings of Idaho rescued Anna from an animal shelter, she had no idea that Anna would rescue her right back. One morning in 2007, Anna woke Candace with her howls because the trailer was on fire. They both escaped, but when Candace tried to come back for something, she got disoriented in the smoke. Anna had apparently followed her back into the building and led Candace out again!


Jesus Garcia and Nacozari

Jesus Garcia and NacozariSource: howstuffworks.com

On November 7, 1907, Jesus Garcia was on duty as a railroad engineer in the town of Nacozari, Mexico, when he noticed that a train car containing dynamite had caught on fire. He drove the car out of town where it exploded, killing him and 12 other rail workers. The town is eternally grateful.


Uruguay's Old Christian Club Rugby Team

Uruguay's Old Christian Club rugby teamSource: seeker.com

On Oct. 13, 1972, 45 passengers, which included members, friends, and family of Uruguay’s Old Christian Club rugby team, crashed in the Andes on their way from Montevideo to Santiago. While several passengers died either on impact or in an avalanche, 16 of the original 45 were eventually rescued via helicopter.



KankuntuSource: rd.com

2 years into their around-the-world sailing trip, British couple Peter and Betty Lee were boating off the coast of Venezuela when they were attacked by pirates. Although they were tied up, their hunting dog, Kankuntu, came to their rescue. He attacked the pirates and scared them off. Unfortunately, Kankuntu was shot and stabbed in the process, but the couple were able to dress his wounds.


Moko and the Whales

Moko and the WhalesSource: howstuffworks.com

In 2008, a sperm whale and her calf got caught on a sandbar off the coast of New Zealand. When human efforts failed, a dolphin named Moko showed up and managed to lead the whales to safety!


The Arapahoe Basin

The Arapahoe BasinSource: rd.com

When a man got his backpack caught in a chair lift while trying to get off, it left him dangling from the lift high above the mountain. One of the ski instructors (who fortunately also happened to be a professional slackliner) managed to save the poor skier by climbing up along the wire and cutting him loose!


Jessica McClure

Jessica McClureSource: seeker.com

As an 18 month old baby, Jessica fell 22 feet down a narrow, abandoned well. While CNN filmed live, people around the world watched as rescuers dug a parallel hole to get her out.


Daniel Mazur and Lincoln Hall

Daniel Mazur and Lincoln HallSource: howstuffworks.com

After succumbing to altitude sickness 2 hours from the summit of Mount Everest, Lincoln Hall was assumed to be dead by his comrades. Little did they know that another climber named Daniel Mazur had stumbled across a disoriented Lincoln and carried him back down the mountain (thus abandoning the Everest summit).

Note: not all climbers are so fortunate. Many times people coming down the mountain don’t have enough energy to carry fatigued comrades, and those going up don’t want to sacrifice their Everest glory. Thus, you can quite literally die just feet from dozens of people.


Vickie Williams-Tillman

Vickie Williams-TillmanSource: rd.com

Vickie Williams-Tillman was driving to the store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana when she saw police officer Billy Aime wrestling with a suspect. The suspect had grabbed Billy’s baton and repeatedly bashed his head with it. Vickie fearlessly jumped on the suspect’s back and helped subdue him.


Hudson River Rescue

Hudson River RescueSource: nytimes.com

On Jan. 15, 2009­, flight 1548 took off from New York, lost power, and landed in the Hudson River. The pilot, Chesley B. Sullenberger, was hailed as a hero when not a single life was lost. Fire boats, Coast Guard, and police boats managed to pick up all the passengers from the water.


Central Park

Central ParkSource: oddee.com

In February 2017, Bennett Jonas and Ethan Turnbull were skating in Central Park when they saw several kids dancing on the ice. The ice gave way and the kids plunged into the water. Jonas and Turmbull managed to pull all seven of them to safety.


Ingrid Betancourt

Ingrid BetancourtSource: seeker.com

While campaigning for the Colombian presidency in FARC territory in 2002, Ingrid was kidnapped by rebels. For 6 years nobody knew where she was. Eventually, undercover government forces infiltrated FARC and managed to rescue Ingrid. Her rescue was celebrated throughout the country.


SS Andrea Doria

SS Andrea DoriaSource: history.com

On July 25, 1956, Italian luxury liner SS Andrea Doria collided with the MS Stockholm off the coast of Massachusetts. In the 11 hours that it took the SS Andrea to sink, over a thousand passengers escaped onto the MS Stockholm and other surrounding ships. Only 46 peopled died. It is one of the greatest seaborne rescues of modern day.


The Chilean Miners

The Chilean MinersSource: history.com

On Aug. 5, 2010, a mine collapsed in northern Chile. 33 miners had to spend the next several months underground until rescuers could reach them. On Oct. 13, 2010 the world looked on as the miners were brought to the surface and reunited with their families.


USS Squalus

USS SqualusSource: seeker.com

On May 23, 1939, a valve failure caused the submarine USS Squalus to sink. It wasn’t until over 24 hours later that searchers finally managed to reached the sub and extract the entire crew alive!


100 puppies

100 puppiesSource: rd.com

In January 2017, a truck carrying over one hundred puppies crashed into a ditch off of New York State’s Interstate 86. Volunteers and rescuers acted quickly to triage and treat the puppies, all of whom eventually turned out fine.


MV Maersk Alabama

MV Maersk AlabamaSource: history.com

On April 8, 2009, off the coast of Somalia, the MV Maersk Alabama became the first American vessel to be hijacked by pirates in almost 200 years. The pirates fled with Captain Richard Phillips, but not for long. Navy SEAL snipers took out the pirates and rescued the Captain.


Manfred Kick

Manfred KickSource: dw.de

While Kick was driving his Tesla down the German Autobahn near Munich, he noticed a fellow driver was swerving erratically. He pulled up to the car and saw that the driver was limp and unconscious. Acting quickly, he drove in front of the other driver’s vehicle and slowed it down using his own. The damage to Kick’s Tesla was significant, but he had saved a life that day. And oh yea, Elon Musk offered to have his Tesla fixed free of charge!


Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane KatrinaSource: seeker.com

Anytime there’s a natural disaster, there are many people in need of rescue. And while there are many individual stories, it’s worth noting that in one of the most devastating natural disasters in US history, rescuers managed to swim and airlift over 30,000 people to safety! It’s quite impressive.


Daniel Aufdenblatten and Richard Lehner

Daniel Aufdenblatten and Richard LehnerSource: history.com

On April 29, 2010, a storm trapped 3 Spanish climbers on Annapurna in Nepal. As they froze on the world’s 10th highest mountain, Swiss pilots Daniel Aufdenblatten and Richard Lehner took their helicopter to nearly 7,000 meters (22,966 feet) to save them! They received the “Heroism Award,” which is one of the highest honors in aviation.


Bataan Death March

Bataan Death MarchSource: seeker.com

The Bataan Death March was when the Japanese forced allied prisoners of war to march through the hot Philippine jungles. In January, 1945, 121 Army Rangers rescued over 500 captives. Hampton Sides’ 2002 bestseller Ghost Soldiers: The Epic Account of World War II’s Greatest Rescue Mission recounts the tales of heroism.


Haiti Earthquake

On Jan. 12, 2010, Darlene Etienne was studying at her cousin’s place in Port-au-Prince when the 7.0 earthquake struck. For fifteen days she was trapped in the rubble until a passerby heard her screams. Her rescue was broadcast live on television.

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