Author(s): Carl Walrond
Humans cannot survive more than three minutes without air; more than three hours exposed to extreme low-temperature; more than three days without water; more than three weeks without food. These are the general laws of survival, but some people defy the odds. Using true tales of survival, including high-profile cases such as the case of the sailors lasting at sea for 199 days adrift on the Rose Noelle, the soldiers who died on Ruapehu while a Japanese tramper came off the mountain and asked for a cigarette, and the much-discussed case of Robert Hewitt; Carl Wairond investigates what determines whether a person faced with a live-or-die situation will survive. This gripping read looks at why things happened the way they did; analyses what went right and what went wrong, highlighting the psychology of survival and the mental processes that come into play when people are bewildered, stressed and desperate.
Carl Walrond is a Wellington-based research writer at Te Ara - the online encyclopaedia of New Zealand and a regular contributor to NZ Geographic and Bivouac magaine. A keen climber and tramper, he has first-hand experience of being lost in the NZ bush, in Lapland and in Invercargill!