A Pilot Survived a Plane Crash And 15 Hours Among Hungry Sharks


You know, amazing stories about people who’ve
survived a plane crash are also extremely rare. But what if I tell you that one man not only
stayed alive after his plane dropped into the ocean, but also managed to fend off hungry
sharks for a whopping 15 hours until he was rescued? Doesn’t sound like much fun now, does it?. It happened in 1986, and this man’s name was
Walter Wyatt, Jr. The thirty-seven-year-old flight engineer
was flying from Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas, to Miami on a rainy December day. He was the only person on board his twin-engine
Beechcraft. However, it wasn’t a peaceful flight: in Nassau,
Wyatt had his navigational equipment stolen, and now he had to rely on a hand-held radio
and a simple compass. The plane had already traveled over Andros
Island when the sky darkened ominously, and the compass needle started to gyrate wildly. Not to go off the course, the pilot tried
to locate some landmark to guide him. At one moment, he noticed a chain of rocks
which he believed led to Bimini, the westernmost region of the Bahamas. But as he lay a course to the north, following
the rocks, he realized two things. First, Bimini wasn’t about to appear from
the raging waves. And second, he was absolutely, terrifyingly
lost. Trying to keep calm, Wyatt switched on his
radio and sent a Mayday distress call. Almost immediately, he received an answer
from an Air Jamaica Miami-bound flight which then relayed his shout for help to the Coast
Guard. But after that, things got a bit messed up. Although a Falcon search jet responded to
Wyatt’s signal straight away, the violent thunderstorm and another distress call caused
confusion. As a result, it took the rescue plane almost
an hour to reach Wyatt’s Beechcraft. That’s why, by the time the white-and-orange
Coast Guard jet appeared, night had already fallen, and the right engine of Wyatt’s plane
had started to sputter. The Falcon’s commander tried to encourage
Wyatt by saying there was an emergency landing strip nearby. Just 6 miles, he said, and they would be there. Relieved, the Beechcraft’s pilot followed
the Falcon. Little did he know that his luck was running
out. All of a sudden, his plane’s right engine
coughed and died. Right after that, the left fuel tank ran empty,
and with horror, Wyatt realized that both engines had collapsed. Everything happened lightning fast. Almost instantly, the airplane lost altitude
and started its dizzying descent. Wyatt shouted he was going down, and the Falcon’s
pilot could only watch in shocked silence while the other plane hit the sea and disappeared
among the waves. Circling over the place of the crash, he desperately
tried to locate the plane, but there was neither machine nor man to be seen. Several circles later, and there was still
no life raft, no flares, and no emergency transmissions. It could mean only one thing: Wyatt hadn’t
survived. Still, the crew of the Falcon wanted to keep
searching, but the fuel gauge showed that their tank was alarmingly close to empty. At 6 PM, there was nothing to do but turn
the plane and head for Key West. No-one on board could believe the tragedy
they’d just witnessed; they were planning to fuel up and return to continue the search. But what really happened when Wyatt’s plane
dropped from the sky? As soon as the machine touched the water’s
surface, the pilot’s forehead hit the instrumental panel, almost knocking him out. Luckily, he didn’t lose consciousness and
was still able to control the situation. He felt the airplane bounce and slam back
into the water. Grabbing two flares, Wyatt climbed out onto
the wing and inflated his life vest. He felt relieved when he saw the approaching
lights of the rescue jet. He rushed to ignite a flare… and nothing! It fizzled and died. The second flare simply crumpled in his hands. The situation was becoming more and more hopeless. The wing, where the man was standing, suddenly
gave way under his feet. Within seconds, the plane was gone, with Wyatt
left adrift in the rough sea. Luckily, the pilot had previously taken a
sea-survival course and knew how important it was to conserve energy. But despite his attempts, just half an hour
later, he was already shaking and suffering from leg cramps. But the worst thing was that he was getting
desperate. He knew that in the darkness, with the weather
so stormy, and the waves raging around, nobody would be able to spot him in the water. That’s why he decided to swim in the direction
of another Bahamas island, Cay Sal (or at least, in the direction where he thought Cay
Sal was). Unfortunately, in less than an hour, due to
violent waves, powerful gusts of wind, and the rough sea, the man was completely disoriented. But what worried him most was his life vest’s
left chamber: it was softening since the air was leaving through a hole next to the inflation
tube. In no time, the tube got detached from the
vest, and the chamber literally collapsed. In a futile attempt to inflate it again, Wyatt
blew into the hole left in the place where the tube used to be and sealed it with his
finger. On top of that, when the pilot hit his forehead
against the instrumental panel, it left a gashing wound which was now oozing blood. The pain wasn’t the worst thing about that. The most terrifying consequence of his injury
was that the metallic scent of blood started to attract sharks hunting in that area. Wyatt wasn’t planning to give up. First, he took off his airline ID badge from
his neck and used his watchband to scratch his last will on it. “Trish – house.” He hoped they would realize that he wanted
to leave his house to his girlfriend, Trisha. Also, he scratched a coded message for the
rest of his family: his Mom and Dad, his son Walter and daughter Jennifer. “143 MDJWT,” the etching read, which meant
“I love you.” After he securely tied the badge to his vest,
he glanced at his watch: 8 PM. And then, out of the blue, he felt something
massive bumping into his leg. Sharks had arrived to have their feast. The man was a pace away from a full-fledged
panic attack. The shark seemed to have left, but Wyatt knew:
once they’d smelled their prey, they would be back. Besides, the right chamber of his vest had
started to leak before its inflation tube broke loose as well. Once again, the pilot blew some air into the
hole and used another finger to prevent what little air was left inside from leaking out. He struggled to keep his head above the water
surface and tried to catch some rainwater with his dry mouth. Meanwhile, the crew of the Falcon, which had
replenished its fuel supply in Key West, was flying back toward the spot where they’d
last seen the Beechcraft. The rescue jet was being followed by a Navy
helicopter whose task was to spotlight the sea below. Regrettably, the storm wasn’t going to calm
down, and visibility had fallen to almost zero. It was too dangerous for the people on board,
so the order came to return to the base. The search was put off till the morning. Far down in the water, the exhausted pilot
felt another blow on the leg. He kicked at it and, panicking, pulled his
fingers out of the holes in the vest. Water started to fill it, and for one horrifying
moment, the man went underwater. He pulled and tugged until he was free from
the vest and managed to get back to the surface to gulp some air. It took him almost an hour to calm down. When he felt he could think logically, Wyatt
filled the vest’s chambers with more air and rested his body on top of it. He didn’t know how much time he spent rocking
on the waves but, eventually, the sky got lighter. But just as the pilot started to feel some
hope, he saw a nightmarish view – a dorsal fin just a couple of feet away. Then one more, and another one! The man realized that the sharks returned
in a pack, and they were closing on him. When the first shark dived and headed toward
his legs, Wyatt managed to slam his heel forcefully between its eyes. This spooked the predator, and it rushed away. Still, it didn’t leave the man alone, circling
nearby. When two other sharks dashed toward Wyatt,
he gave several frantic kicks and managed to fend off those beasts as well. And that’s how it went: a shark would charge
at him, and he would gather all his strength to scare it away. At the same time, Wyatt understood that sooner
or later, he would miss an attack, and that would be the end of him. When Wyatt saw the clouds part and a bright
star heading down toward him, he decided that he’d finally lost his mind. But several moments later he realized that
it was a Coast Guard aircraft, and it was circling, searching for him! When the plane got closer, Wyatt started to
wave his bright-orange life vest to attract the pilot’s attention. For one panic-stricken moment, he thought
that they hadn’t noticed him. But he was wrong. Up there, in the cockpit, the captain of the
aircraft was already radioing the Coast Guard ship, which was just 12 minutes away from
there. Immediately, the cutter sped to the rescue. And that’s when the Falcon’s pilot saw massive
dark shadows circling Wyatt. He frantically radioed the cutter, urging
it to move as fast as possible. At first, Wyatt didn’t understand why the
plane hadn’t dropped a life raft for him, but in a minute, he got the answer. A sleek boat rushed through the waves, and
soon the man was already hanging onto its bottom rung. Two men had to help him up since he had no
strength left in his body. It was 9 AM, and at the moment he was rescued,
he’d been bobbing on the waves for around 15 hours. Wow. Do you know any other miraculous survival
stories? Let me know down in the comments! If you learned something new today, then give
this video a like and share it with a friend. But – hey! – don’t go get lost at sea
just yet! We have over 2,000 cool videos for you to
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video, click on it, and enjoy! Stay on the Bright Side of life!

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