Juliane Koepcke: The Teen Who Survived 11 Days in the Jungle Alone
Thu, April 22, 2021

Juliane Koepcke: The Teen Who Survived 11 Days in the Jungle Alone


On December 24, 1971, LANSA Flight 508 en route from Lima to Pucallpa, Peru crashed after encountering thunderstorms and severe turbulence. The plane crash killed 91 people: six crew members and 85 passengers. Miraculously, Juliane Koepcke, who was 17 years old at that time, was the sole survivor.


Photo Credit: Wikipedia


Together with her mother, Juliane boarded LANSA Flight 50 to visit her father who was working in the Amazonian rainforest. At first, the flight was a smooth ride until the clouds grew darker and the turbulence got worse. She remembered the sounds of people’s screams after a lightning bolt struck the motor, which broke into pieces. “What really happened is something you can only try to reconstruct in your mind,” she said. The next thing she knew, she was left in the middle of the Peruvian rainforest alone. 


Photo Credit: Imgur.com


According to All That’s Interesting, a site for curious people who want to know more about what they see on the news or read in history books, Juliane survived a 10,000-foot fall and suffered a broken collarbone and deep gash on her calf. It took her half a day to fully get up due to her injuries. At that time, Juliane was slowly losing hope since she couldn't successfully find her mother, who had died of her injuries. 


Photo Credit: All That's Interesting


But then, she remembered her father’s survival advice: “A small stream will flow into a bigger one and then into a bigger one and an even bigger one, and finally you’ll run into help.” She followed the stream, hoping to find some form of civilization. During her journey, Juliane encountered several dead passengers. Luckily, she came across a hut on her ninth day in the forest. The hut was owned by three Peruvian missionaries who took her by boat to a local hospital located in a small nearby town.

Juliane eventually reunited with her father. With her help, the authorities were able to find other missing people from the flight. Since then, many have been fascinated by how she was able to survive in the jungle for 11 days.