Image of the crash taken from the Standard-Examiner website.
While casual knife lovers might have a knife or two lying around the house for practical purposes, hardcore knife enthusiasts can have upwards of 50. So, when they get a new knife for their birthday or Father’s Day, it sometimes gets lost in the shuffle.
However, as one man from Utah found out, that’s not always a bad thing.
Jason Navarro received a knife to add to his growing collection from his wife for Father’s Day, but he simply threw it in his work truck, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. On Monday, that one knife in a collection of many was used to save someone’s life.
A woman named Heidi Orosco was driving down a highway when she accidentally swerved into the wrong lane. When she tried to correct her error, she overcompensated and her car ended up overturned in a ditch.
Navarro and another man, Bob Nicholson, witnessed the crash, so they quickly pulled over to help the trapped woman.
Image from Blade Mag
It’s always important to be prepared in life because you never know when disaster will strike. For example, you might be attacked by a bear out of the blue or you might get trapped in a burning vehicle. You might even find yourself in the middle of a life or death situation doing something as seemingly innocuous as kayaking.
That’s what happened to three kayakers who ventured out onto Lake Michigan in Wisconsin about two weeks ago. Everything was fine until an offshore breeze pushed them out farther and knocked over the kayak. This isn’t such a big deal if all of them hadn’t become entangled in the ropes.
At this point, many knife owners would reach for their strategically placed knife, whether attached to the belt or strapped around the leg. However, none of the three had a knife nearby. When you compound that with the fact they weren’t wearing life vests, they were in deep trouble.
Fortunately, kayak tour guide Brody Kidd happened to be in the area as he was preparing to give a tour later in the day. When he saw the overturned kayak, he immediately hopped in his and headed over to help.
Like anyone who is always prepared, he was carrying his favorite John Wayne commemorative folding rescue knife. Kidd easily cut free the three people—two of whom had severe hypothermia and were near death.
Earlier this week, we wrote about reasons why you should carry a dive knife whenever you’re at sea. Now, one Polish surfer gives yet another compelling reason to carry a sturdy knife: to stave off hungry sharks if you’re stranded in the water.
According to ABC News, 42-year-old Jan Lisewski from Poland was attempting to windsurf across the Red Sea from Egypt to Saudi Arabia. About two-thirds of the way through the journey, the winds died down and he became stranded in the shark-infested waters.
As night fell, the water became rough and he was forced to rely on an energy drink and two energy bars for sustenance. The worst part of the experience was when sharks up to 18-feet started to circle the stuck Lisewski. Fortunately, he was carrying a trusty knife.
Here’s what he said he did:
“I was stabbing them in the eyes, the nose and gills,” Lisewski told Polish state news agency PAP.
The image of this man fending off hungry sharks at night with a diving knife while eating energy bars is too awesome to disregard. Sure, some may call him crazy for trying to windsurf the Red Sea in the first place, but this man is badass.
Danger always seems to pop up when you least expect, like when a burglar bursts through your door late at night or when you get into a terrible car accident on the way home. While you can rarely predict when danger strikes, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t always be prepared.
Take the Hobbs family in Texas, for example. According to the Daily News, the family was recently walking on a sidewalk between a restaurant and a lodge in the Big Bend National Park while enjoying the outdoors. Six-year-old Rivers Hobbs walked with his mom and dad, completely unaware of what was about to happen.
Creeping up on the family was a lost and very hungry cougar who waited for the perfect moment. Then, he pounced.
With little warning, the cougar lunged at the small boy and clamped down on his face. Seeing your child on the ground with a cougar mauling his face is probably unimaginatively frightening. It’s this point when the fear and shock could be too debilitating to help. Even a few seconds in the grasp of a hungry cougar is life-threatening.
But, without hesitation, Rivers’ father Jason Hobbs sprung into action, pulled out his knife and stabbed the beast in the chest. The animal immediately let go and skulked away.
The boy, who had a few gashes and puncture wounds on his face, was rushed to the hospital and stitched up. Aside from a few scars and a gnarly story, he’ll be perfectly fine.
A 69-year-old man was taking a peaceful jaunt down the street with his Jack Russel Terrier in New South Wales, Australia, when a wild, enraged staghound attacked him and his dog.
Undaunted, he used his pocket knife to fend off the beast, slaying it in the process, another prime example in our series of how knives can save lives.
Staghounds are often used, and, in many cases abused, during the process of hunting wild boars. These dogs are can weigh up to 130 pounds and are often poorly trained by cruel owners who keep them in small confines.
According to this article from ABC News, these giant staghounds have been wreaking havoc on the Australian town of Wagga Wagga lately. Last month five people were injured when two staghound dogs attacked them and officials say that the unregistered, wild dogs present a continuing problem.
You’re driving down a snowy highway on a cold winter night, when the car in front of you careens into an icy river. A distraught and panicked father climbs out, only to dive back in, desperately trying to pull his three children from the wreckage.
You jump in the water and try to help him unjam the doors, but they’re stuck. Luckily, you have your revolver on you, so you shoot into the window smashing the glass. Inside, you find the children on the verge of drowning. You try to grasp them, but they are trapped by their seat belts.
What do you do?
(a) Watch them die wishing you had a knife on you.
(b) Take out your pocket knife, slice through the seat belts and free the children.
This isn’t a fantasy or a made up story, but an account of a dramatic rescue that happened in Utah just the other day.
After witnessing the aforementioned crash, retired police offer Chris Wilden was able to stage a dramatic rescue. But according to press reports, if it wasn’t for his pocket knife, at least one of the kids, all of whom survived, would have lost their life.
One of the girls had found an air pocket and was breathing fine but was trapped in her seat belt. Willden cut it with a pocket knife and pulled her from the rear passenger window.
Image of the wrecked Mustang courtesy of SOG Knives
This blog has always touted the importance of carrying a knife, whether a lockback clipped to your belt or a Swiss Army knife tucked into your pocket. Even though certain cities and organizations demonize knives as dangerous weapons, the functionality of a knife during harrowing situations should not be underestimated.
In our series Knives Save Lives, we thoroughly document how knives are used to help those in life or death situations. I stumbled upon this next example of knives saving lives on the SOG knives blog. A customer named Zach S. submitted a story to SOG about how he used his knife to rescue someone.
The story begins when Zach, a volunteer Firefighter and Emergency Medical Technician for a New York fire department, was driving home from work on October 14, 2011. As these stories go, he found himself right in the middle of a terrible car crash. One car slammed into the other, but Zach was able to avoid hitting the out-of-control vehicles. Since he is a volunteer firefighter, it was instinctive of him to immediately pull over and help out at the scene of the accident.
The term “hero” is usually tossed around with careless abandon these days. You might call someone who gets you a shopping cart or someone who finds your favorite pair of pants a hero.
There are certainly a variety of uses for the term, but a true hero is someone who risks their life to save another. That’s why it’s no surprise that the two men in the next post in our series documenting how knives save lives are aptly deemed heroes.
According to the American Knife and Tool Institute, the whole story begins July 2011 on a highway in Illinois where David Kieffer was driving his Chevy S-10 pickup. As these stories always go, disaster was swift and unexpected. Out of nowhere Kieffer’s truck was rear-ended by a massive semi-truck and the power of that thing was tremendous. His truck burst into flames and he was trapped inside the crumpled vehicle.
This is always the pivotal point of a story. There could be so many possibilities. Nobody might stop to help or someone without a knife might stop and end up being ineffective regardless of intentions. Fortunately, unlike many other stories that end in disaster, two heroic men with the right tools were not far away.
Professional stuntman Daniel Narciso and National Guard vet James Halterman were nearby and instantly went to help Kieffer without worrying about getting burned or injured themselves. Since Kieffer was trapped in the burning vehicle by his seat belt, the only thing that could save him was a knife. Luckily, Halterman had his reliable Gerber Covert 154CM knife on him.
It’s remarkably rare when someone is put into a situation where they need to make a life or death decision, when their life is literally in their own hands. It’s noble for someone to think they’d react rationally and calmly in a situation like that, but it’s always much easier to say something than do it.
Donald Wyman was one of the unfortunate few who was face-to-face with death. Amazingly, he did not buckle or back down.
To get the full scope of Wyman’s story, you have to start at the beginning. In 1993, when Wyman was 37 years old, the humble Pennsylvanian was working nights and weekends to build a house with his bare hands for his wife and son. According to an article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, he had already built the first floor from foundation stone he’d acquired from razing barns.
His sister-in-law described him as a fighter, optimist and survivor. He apparently grew up with three brothers who knew what to do in any situation. However, his attitude and ruggedness was truly put to the test on July 20, 1993, when his life would change forever.
That day he had just cleared some trees from the mouth of a strip mine and wanted to get some lumber for the house he was building. According to People, it was around 4 p.m. when he started cutting into a huge oak resting on a hillside. Here’s how Pam Lambert from the magazine described what happened next:
Suddenly the trunk snapped back at him and fell, pinning his leg underneath. Because the top of the tree had been wedged between others it was slightly bowed; the cut released the tension like an enormous spring. “As many trees as I’ve cut, I should have known better,” Wyman says. “It drove me right into the ground. I didn’t, know what had hit me.” Seconds later, he knew. The trunk had rolled over his left shin about seven inches below” the knee, cutting flesh, shattering bone and burying his lower leg under an immovable weight of oak.
When 61-year-old John Hutt left his Colorado home on Aug. 19 for a routine retrieval of fallen trees for firewood, he had no idea of the harrowing experience he was about to face.
The semi-retired logger headed out that Friday morning at about 8 o’clock to a deserted area off a highway to break up the trees with his heavy duty machinery.
As he was detaching the trailer of his tractor-trailer, something he told the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel he’d done thousands of times, the 6 or 7 tons of metal came crashing down and pinned his foot against the rear-axle.
As you can imagine, the pain was unfathomable and worst of all, he couldn’t move. He had a cellphone in the car, but it wouldn’t have mattered anyway because there was no reception in there area. He called out to a nearby house, but again it wouldn’t have mattered anyway because no one was there.
Surprisingly, his instinct wasn’t to wait there in hopes that someone would come along and find him. After 30 minutes of being pinned, he’d begun to plan his escape by taking actions into his own hands. He reached into his pocket and all he had was Chapstick and his reliable 10-year-old Schrade Old Timer pocketknife.
Fearing he might pass out in shock and land in a way that would cause him to bleed more, he made the decision to free himself by cutting his toes off with the knife. So, he sliced through the boot, cut through the sock and cut through his toes, stopping only to catch his breath.
The pain of cutting through bones, tendons and nerves is unimaginable, but once he was already doing it, he knew the pain couldn’t get any worse. He estimated it took him about 10 or 15 minutes to finish.