When U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Ned Clysdale handed down a knife to his son, he never imagined that it would be the only thing stopping a bullet from potentially killing his son.
This story, which first appeared in the December 2013 issue of Blade Magazine, is an amazing example of how knives save lives in many different ways. Ned Clysdale is a big fan of Bob Dozier knives and had four, including a Bob Dozier Freedom Fighter.
We’ve seen some pretty amazing ways knives have been used to save lives, including everything from cutting kids out of burning vehicles to sawing off limbs to escape certain doom. Still, some of the most impressive ways knives save lives are unintentional.
When Deputy John Capriola and his partner responded to a call in Fresno about shots being fired on the evening of Dec. 23, he never expected his knife would save him the way it did.
As they were searching for people who were recklessly shooting in the area, the sounds of gunfire became louder and more intense. Here’s what he told ABC news:
“I could hear it coming right towards me,” said Capriola. “It sounded like a laser and it hit me in the right leg and knocked me off my feet.”
There’s blood pouring out of your leg, which is trapped under a several ton tractor. Nobody will notice you’re missing for the rest of the day and the only thing in arm’s reach is a knife your father gave you long ago. What do you do?
Barry Lynch, a 54-year-old Australian farmer, was faced with this life-or-death situation earlier this month when the drawbar on his crop sprayer collapsed onto his leg, leaving a gaping wound.
But instead of using the knife as it was intended for—to cut—Lynch used it to start digging. For six longs hours, as the pressure in his leg was building to a painful crescendo, he continued digging at the hard earth with his knife.
Although a knife isn’t useful in every single situation you’ll ever encounter, I can think of hundreds of situations where you would want a knife over any other tool, including a gun.
The situation you’re about to read is one of those.
Late last month, a store clerk at a deli in Long Island was running the store when a masked man who wielded a gun came in and demanded money from the register.
Since the dramatic footage doesn’t have any sound, it’s difficult to really get the full story, but it appears the clerk was taking too long to hand over the money or said no and the robber shot at him. The bullet fortunately missed the clerk and that’s when he reached down below the counter and grabbed a sheathed machete. With machete in hand, the fearless clerk charged at the fleeing robber.
Some outlets are reporting that the gun jammed, which is why the robber didn’t just shoot the clerk. While this story would have turned out completely different had the gun not jammed and the robber shot the guy, this demonstrates that many blades, especially fixed blades, will not fail you when you need them most.
The footage is pretty tense, so check it out below.
When you read about people in life or death situations, they’re usually hiking along trails where grizzly bears frequent or base jumping off rocky cliffs. But you can also find yourself in life or death situations doing something as innocuous as eating dinner.
One woman found that out the hard way.
According to the Bakersfield Californian, Pauline Larwood was eating at a restaurant with other politicians, doctors and experts who were in town for a symposium when she began choking on her food.
Local assemblywoman Shannon Grove, who was sitting at the same table as Larwood, said her husband jumped into action and immediately gave her the Heimlich maneuver. When that failed, he called for a doctor who also tried and failed to clear her airways with the Heimlich maneuver.
For many people who don’t use knives on a daily basis, it can be pretty easy to dismiss them as unnecessary items to carry. Unlike a wallet or keys, a knife might not have to leave your pocket unless you need to slice open packaging or cut twine.
But there’s one other reason why everyone should carry a knife: knives save lives. Sure, this may only come about once in a lifetime, but in that single moment, you control the fate of someone else’s (or your own) life.
Over the past few years, we’ve written a series of blog posts called “Knives Save Lives” documenting the real stories of how knives have been used to save someone from certain death. One thing these stories had in common was that they were unexpected.
For example, early last year, a driver lost control of a car while going over a slippery bridge in Utah. The car crashed into an icy river, trapping three small children inside a car filling with water. The driver, Roger Andersen, tried desperately to save the kids from the vehicle, but the doors were jammed shut.
What’s in your pocket right now? Probably a wallet, keys and a phone, but there should be one other item in there: a knife.
And not just any knife. Everybody should carry a Swiss Army knife and here’s all the evidence you need.
On November 10, a 38-year-old man was driving along in Germany when he suddenly lost control of his vehicle, according to a press release from Victorinox. If you’ve ever lost control of a car, you know how unpredictable it could be. This man’s car skidded across the lane of oncoming traffic, smashed a roadside marker, hit a tree and rolled over into a ditch on the side of the road. After all was done, the car was upside down on its hood and on fire.
Needless to say, the man was in serious trouble. Enter septuagenarian Rüdiger Leonardy.
Like any good Samaritan, Rüdiger pulled over with a group of other people to see if they could rescue the trapped man from being burned alive. Here’s a better description of what the scene looked like:
The mangled car was burning around the front axle. The driver was seriously injured and had been left hanging upside down in his seatbelt. There was no time to lose, but the helpers at the scene were unable to release the man’s seatbelt.
With no one able to unlock the seatbelt, 73-year-old Rüdiger pulled out his knife: a 40-year-old Swiss Army knife he picked up while on vacation in Switzerland.
Diving, despite all the beautiful scenery and whimsical sensations of freedom, is not without danger. Divers can get decompression sickness, become lost, run out of air or get attacked by a great white shark.
That’s the predicament two divers were facing in Australia after a 12-foot shark greeted them after jumping off a boat. The divers were more than a hundred feet away from the boat, and the shark was intently circling them. This is where any sane person would freak out and give the shark a taste of fear.
Here’s a quote from one of the divers, which appear in Updated News:
“I’d just got into the water and I hadn’t shot a fish or anything and there she was,” Podmore told the newspaper. “She was probably there 25 seconds before we even knew she was there — the video shows it.”
Fortunately, there was no need for the two divers to be afraid because they had knives and harpoons in hand. Instead of being stuck in the middle of the ocean with no recourse, the divers were prepared with the appropriate tools to help them get out of the jam.
Since harpoons are generally difficult to use and would probably attract other sharks with the blood, they opted instead to jab the shark with the knives to discourage it.
After a few jabs from the sharp objects, the huge shark swam away without incident.
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.
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 knife. Kidd easily cut free the three people—two of whom had severe hypothermia and were near death.