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Jungle Britons endure five-day survival battle after wrong canoe turn

Published 05/11/2016

Rachel Bradley, one of three Britons who spent five days stranded in a Mexican jungle
Rachel Bradley, one of three Britons who spent five days stranded in a Mexican jungle

Three Britons have spent five days stranded in a Mexican jungle, surviving on a pack of peanuts and scavenged fish, after taking a wrong turn on a boat trip.

The trio and a Mexican companion were exploring in the Yucatan Peninsula when they flipped one of their canoes, containing their food, and stranded the other in a narrow stream.

Rachel Bradley, from Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham, was one of those eventually rescued from the Mexican jungle by a stranger named Juan de Dios - "John of God".

Ms Bradley, 31, told how they became lost in a combination of unexpected rapids and a "labyrinth" of swamps and waterfalls created by heavy rainfall.

The team then ambled, swam and climbed through the vast jungle before finding a mangrove they decided to stay in.

Ms Bradley said: "For the next two days and two nights we stayed in this tree and explored a few different exit routes, walking to the other side of the palm field and swimming up and down stream.

"However, the best thing was to stay put. We had a safe place to sleep and a clear area if anything came overhead.

"We had a bag of M&M's which we shared on the first evening and then we rationed a bag of caramelised peanuts I had - five each per sitting.

"By day three, my colleagues had started testing a local fruit they recognised and had caught some small fish using my mosquito net.

"They cut the heads off and swallowed them whole."

After the rescue on October 23 the team rejoined their colleagues from Ninth Wave Global, an environmental consultancy operating in remote areas.

But the experience has not put Ms Bradley off her intrepid life.

She said: "At the time I thought it would do, but in the morning I start two weeks on the Usumacinta River so I guess not.

"I think it's a really great thing to do to get out there, explore and to learn how to live in the outdoors.

"You have really special moments."

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