Who doesn’t love a good tale of crisis and rescue? Over half the movies that have ever been created is based upon some sort of crisis followed by rescue operation, whether by the rescue teams formed of armed forces, or, thanks to some good Samaritan and brave souls! And we certainly love these tales.
Tales of rescue come with hope, and we certainly love watching the bravery, gallantry, and sharp intellect displayed by the rescue teams. However, when we say reality can be stranger than fiction, seldom do we realize how true that turns out to be. Well, reality definitely defied all odds when these rescue operations turned out to be successful. The rescue teams certainly turned the impossible possible with these operations. Let’s find out about some of the most breathtaking rescue operations in the history of mankind.
The Gilligan Island Rescue
This one remains my favorite for a number of reasons. It is a tale of sheer belief and just not giving up, with an ending that is not just unbelievable, but also the craziest you will ever come across. The event commences in 1945 with a seemingly innocuous flight over the New Guinea rainforest to admire its beauty. However, unfortunately for 21 among the 24 tourists in the group that turned out to be their last life, as the aircraft crashed midway into the heart of the forest killing them in the crash. The lucky three, though, found to their dismay, that luck isn’t that favorable to them as well.
The distress signal was answered almost immediately, but carrying out a rescue operation in the middle of the dense forest was practically impossible. Rescue teams could reach neither by air nor through land. And, for the surviving ones, hiking over 40 miles through the forest was akin to committing suicide. There were the highly territorial local tribes, as well as a plethora of venomous snakes and some of the deadliest poisonous insects. It was a classic movie set up as rescue teams could only airdrop supplies for the next three months.
An Impossible Rescue Plan
At a time when there was no beacon of hope anywhere, someone came up with the wildest rescue idea – a ‘Fanless Faggot’! It’s essentially a motor-less glider that was supposed to glide them to safety, that is if the plan drawn up during the initial days of aircraft designing bear fruit! But, it was better than nothing. So, the parts of the glider were dropped in 16 parts and were assembled within the forest. However, the craziest part was yet to come.
How do you get this monstrosity to fly? In true cartoon style, a huge rubber band was used to catapult it with the survivors on board. A mega bungee cord was attached to the glider using a noose as a low-altitude plane hooked it. And voila! The glider was shot up in the air, taking the survivors to safety.
Talking about rescue teams how can we forget the armed forces? Operation Nimrod carried out in response to hostage situation beginning 30th April 1980, happens to be the first-ever military rescue operation to be telecast on LIVE television. The ‘Democratic Revolutionary Front for the Liberation of Arabistan’ took 26 people hostage within the Iranian Embassy in Britain and demanded LIVE coverage, besides the release of 19 other fellow militants. However, on 5th May, as one of the hostages was killed and thrown outside on LIVE TV negotiation went out of the window.
The SAS Forces knew the risk of having other hostages with 6 gunmen within the building. Op. Nimrod was carried out with surgical precision as the rescue teams stormed the building taking the militants by surprise and capturing them alive within a span of 17 minutes. It remains among the most daring military rescue operations of all time.