Humans are resilient. In our toughest moments, we will fight, we will struggle, and we will triumph...often against the odds.
In this immersive series from Wondery, host-adventurers Mike Corey and Cassie De Pecol will share thrilling stories of survival. From the daring rescue of a soccer team trapped in an underwater cave in Thailand, to a woman taken hostage by Somali pirates, these stories made headlines around the world. AGAINST THE ODDS will make you feel as though you’re living these experiences with our heroes as they push themselves to their limits.
Shipwreck on the Sahara | The Letter
Sidi Hamet’s family is hundreds of miles away, far across the Saharah. Hamet yearns for his wife but must pay off his debts to his father-in-law before they are reconnected. Meanwhile, Captain James Riley searches for his freedom in the city of Swearah. But, if Riley is going to find his way back across the sea, he must find someone to pay ransom for an American crew. The two men must rely on one another in order to succeed, but only one will live to tell the tale.
Shipwreck on the Sahara | Honor Among Thieves
Captain James Riley and his 11 person crew have been taken captive by Bedouin Nomads. What’s worse is that they’ve been split up amongst warring tribes. Captain Riley has to devise a plan to find all of his men and transport them 800 miles to the city of Swearah to bid for their freedom. But to get there they’ll have to pass through some of the most remote and dangerous places on earth, full of hostile tribes and thieves. It’s a gamble that might cost him and his men their lives.
Shipwreck on the Sahara | Thirst
Captain James Riley’s ship is marooned off the coast of Northwest Africa, where the Sahara meets the sea. The vessel is useless, and his crew’s only chance to make it home alive is by crossing the largest hot desert in the world. The men will have to make a difficult choice to survive the Saharan wilderness and avoid being taken captive by Bedouin nomads. The crew will fight to stay together but face being split up by different tribes. Nevertheless, they must do their best to get back home alive.
Shipwreck on the Sahara | The Storm
In August 1815, a ship called The Commerce runs aground off the coast of Northwest Africa. Onboard are eleven crew members who are merchant traders who have no choice but to row to shore. They will soon find themselves at the edge of the Sahara, one of the most inhospitable places on earth where oasis settlements are controlled by tribes who also run the trans-Saharan slave trade. With no way to escape and dwindling supplies, they will need to cross the largest hot desert in the world. If captured by desert tribes, they face enslavement or death, but without help from locals, they will die of hunger and thirst.
This is the true story of the men who survived the journey based on the journals they wrote. It’s about sacrifice and human endurance and the fight to get home. But their odyssey will have a much greater impact than on just their own lives – it will influence a future president and impact a nation in ways that are still felt even today.
We recommend Skeletons on the Zahara: A True Story of Survival by Dean King for more reading.
K2: The Savage Mountain | Fredrik Sträng, Pt. 2: On Surviving K2
On August 1, 2008 Mountaineer Fredrik Sträng was on K2, the second highest mountain on Earth. He’d reached Camp 4 at 26,000 feet and was ready for the final push up to the summit. But Sträng and another member of his team decided to call off their summit bid when they saw climbers backed up on the rope line. It wasn’t an easy decision, but one that may have saved their lives. In Part 2 of our interview, Sträng shares his memories of climbing K2 in 2008 and those harrowing days when disaster struck in the Death Zone.
Wondery Presents: This Is Actually Happening
What would you do if a singular moment changed your life forever? This is Actually Happening is a weekly podcast from Wondery that features extraordinary true stories of moments that changed absolutely everything for ordinary people. They're unforgettable, perspective-changing stories that will have you on the edge of your seat waiting to hear what happens next. In this preview, hear from a woman who becomes deeply involved in the search for a missing friend, decades after her brother disappeared in the early 1980s. Listen to the full episode at wondery.fm/TIAHpodcast.