Four Children Survived 40 Days Alone in the Amazon Rainforest Following a Plane Crash
A plane crash can be a terrible situation no one hopes to experience. In that unfortunate event, navigating as a survivor can be exceedingly difficult, especially when the survivors are children.
Let’s dive into the courageous story of four children who survived a plane crash and spent over a month navigating the forest alone.
The Day That Changed The Course Of Four Children’s Lives
An airplane from Araracuara to San Jose del Guaviare crashed after the pilot declared an emergency resulting from engine failure.
The plane was carrying three adults and four children when it crashed. An immediate rescue operation was dispatched after contact with the aircraft was lost for an extended period.
The Search Begins
The rescue team, comprised of the Columbian army and indigenous trackers, was dispatched to search for the missing aircraft and possible survivors. The rescuers found the crash site 16 days later, and it was discovered that the three adults had unfortunately passed on, but the bodies of the children were nowhere to be found.
This was a good sign, but it also meant that the longer it took to find the children, the slimmer their chances of survival would be in the forest.
The Courageous Four
The four children—Lesly, 13; Soleiny, 9; Tien Noriel, 4; and Christin, 1, had survived the crash but were nowhere to be found. The rescue team found a baby bottle and shoes, meaning the children had gone to the forest but were lost.
The rescue mission, termed Operation Hope, garnered attention from the entire country, who hoped and prayed for their safe return.
Operation Hope Continues
As the search continued, rescuers also found fresh fruit, farina, and footprints which gave the rescue crew hope that the children were still alive. This renewed hope gave the rescue team a lot of strength to keep pushing.
To help the children stay warm and fed, some boxes of food and other supplies were dropped all around the areas in the hope that the children would find them.
The volunteers used rescue planes, search dogs, flares, and loudspeakers in their continued search for the children from sunrise to sunset, which finally paid off.
The children were finally discovered three miles from the crash site in a small clearing near the Columbia Caqueta Province.
Excitement In The Hearts Of Many
When the children were found, they were very weak and lacked the strength to move their bodies. According to some people in the search party, they only had the strength to breathe.
The forest gave no room for helicopters to land and pick up the kids, so they had to be airlifted into the helicopter one after the other. Their rescue brought much joy and excitement to many who prayed for their safe return.
The Children Were Hospitalized
The children were taken to the hospital and given treatment. They are currently weak and find it difficult to eat and speak but are expected to make a full recovery.
It is safe to presume the ordeal they had to go through at such a young age is still fresh and traumatic, even though they survived what most adults might not have.
How Are They Now?
At the military hospital where the children were receiving treatment, they were visited by the President of Columbia, Gustavo Petro, some government officials, and their families.
According to Astrid Caceres, a general director at the Columbian Institute of Family Welfare, the children are doing well and should be given some time to fully recuperate.
How They Survived The Crash
Many have wondered how the children survived the traumatic ordeal for over a month, given their age and without an adult guardian to aid them.
According to General Pedro Sanchez, the leader of the rescue operation, the children’s ability to survive was based on three different factors. Without these factors, their chances of survival would have been reduced significantly.
Clues Are Given
General Sanchez stated that the children were courageous and wanted to survive. Secondly, they are indigenous people with a lot of immunity to hazards, and lastly, they are familiar with the forest.
Ordinarily, they would not be expected to survive long if they lacked the skills to navigate the Amazon forests. These factors helped them survive what an adult may not.
Lesly The Superhero
The courage of Lesly, aged 13, cannot be over-emphasized. Many have praised her for her strength and bravery in taking charge and ensuring her siblings survived by any means necessary.
According to the children’s father, Manuel Ranoque, Lesley had told him their mother died a few days after the crash, not immediately as earlier presumed.
The Indigenous Huitoto Group
Lesly stated that her mother was alive for four days, and before passing, she had told Lesly to take her siblings and leave the crash site to increase their chances of survival. The children are part of an indigenous Huitoto group and are well-versed in navigating the forest.
This meant that Lesly was not new to navigating or exploring the forest. While she guarded her siblings, she ensured they ate well and stayed in the best comfort they could afford.
Life In The Forest
Fortunately for the children, the forest was in harvest, making it easy to find fruits and nuts to eat. They continued doing their best in the woods until they ran out of energy.
According to some family members, the children are making an impressive recovery. Some are learning to walk, paint, and play.
Survival Skills Are Out Of Fashion
The knowledge of surviving in the forest is one skill that should never be overlooked. It was once a dependable skill used by our ancestors, but with the invention of technology and the development of urban areas, this knowledge is quickly fading.
As the world progresses, such important knowledge may eventually face permanent extinction.
Survival Skills Save The Day
The outcome of this story may not have been possible without the survival skills required to stay alive during such an ordeal. Lesley is the superhero in this story for her unmatched bravery in doing things many older than her may not have done to survive.
Lesly’s family has also been praised for teaching survival lessons to their children.