Amazing Survival Stories

January 23, 2012 by staff 

Amazing Survival Stories, The cruise was a 60th-birthday gift from her children. But Nicole Servel ended up receiving the gift of life from her husband, Francis, who died that night. After the cruise ship Costa Concordia crashed on the rocks, he gave their only life jacket to his wife, who couldn’t swim.

According to, the widow of the sacrificing Frenchman told RTL radio, “I owe my life to my husband.”

Just hours into the Mediterranean cruise, the Italian luxury liner hit rocks. Passengers were told to abandon ship, but the survivor said that the mentality was every man for himself. CNN reported that the scene was chaotic, with “a frantic rush by passengers to get on lifeboats, while the crew appeared helpless and overwhelmed to cope.”

Servel’s husband didn’t make it. He told his wife to “jump, jump!” and added, “Don’t worry, I’ll be all right.” She didn’t see him again. The Toulouse native floated on her back in the frigid, 8-degree water until she washed up on rocks and was rescued by local villagers.

With 4,200 passengers having been aboard the doomed ship, many harrowing stories of survival are emerging. A South Korean couple narrowly escaped death when rescuers heard voices from a cabin two decks down on the half-submerged ship late on Saturday. The newlyweds were on their honeymoon. The BBC reports that the couple, both 29, are in good health.

Shortly after the honeymooners were helped, an Italian crew member, Manrico Giampedroni, was found in the ship’s wreckage with a serious leg injury. Following his cries for help, rescuers located the 57-year-old near a submerged part of the ship; he had been trapped there for 36 hours.

According to Italian news reports, the cabin-service director had stayed behind to assist with the lifeboats, but when the ship began to lean, he fell and broke his leg. The senior crew member said he “never lost hope of being saved.”

A massive search of every cabin is ongoing, with teams of divers deployed to check the underwater rooms. Police are investigating the nature of the accident, given the calm conditions. Evacuating the ship in life boats was made “almost impossible” because the ship listed to one side so quickly, the president of Costa Cruises noted.

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