A desire of “Running away from home at any cost” may have dire consequences. However, some youngsters run away just for adventure & don’t understand what may happen if warnings are ignored! Here is an analysis of the causes and solutions thereof.
Keith Sapsford’s fall from the jumbo jet
Keith Sapsford, a 14-year-old Australian boy was like a born wanderer, who just wanted to explore the world more & more. He had run away from his home many times. Looking at his extreme desire, his parents took him on an overseas trip but even this trip could not fulfill his hunger for adventure. Perhaps this trip fueled his desire and he decided to do something unpredictable.
One day in 1970 he reached Sydney airport and somehow sneaked into the landing gear of a Japan-bound jumbo jet. As the plane took off and landing gears changed their positions, the boy fell down from around 60 meters height and died.
A photographer John Gilpin, unaware of all this, was just taking photographs of planes’ landing & taking off at the airport. In fact, at that time, he didn’t noticed the boy falling down in the long shot. After few days when he saw the developed images, it was then only he found that he unknowingly captured the young boy’s last moments.
A frozen body fell into the garden near Heathrow airport!
On July 1, 2019, a man while sunbathing in his garden, 10 miles away from Heathrow Airport, heard a big thud. Something fell just 3 feet from him, spilling blood all over the garden walls. To his utter shock, it was a frozen human body. Later the investigations revealed that it was a towaway, who fell from the undercarriage of a Kenya Airways flight from Nairobi to London. As the plane approached Heathrow Airport and opened its landing gears, the frozen body fell.
Later, the photographs revealed the body landed partly on concrete paving slabs and partly on the lawn, leaving a crater in the garden. If the body would have landed on the man resting there, either he would have died or been severely injured.
News agency Reuters said desperate asylum seekers often sneak into a plane’s “wheel well”. The landing gear and wheels remain positioned at this place during the flight. They take chance and try their luck against oxygen levels of 26% of those at sea level and temperatures of -60 degrees Celsius.
The 4,250-mile journey from Nairobi to Heathrow takes approximately nine hours. Most stowaways on such long journeys freeze to death in mid-air. And, when the pilot opens the hatch to deploy wheels for landing, such bodies fall from the plane.
Why do youngsters choose running away as a solution?
According to a study, as many as 2.8 million youngsters run away from home each year. Many of them are between 10-14 years of age and haven’t even learned to take care of themselves. Usually, the cause of teenagers running away from home is that they were either hurt, abused, threatened, or they are day dreamer, etc. In such situations, they start thinking that running away is the best solution. They don’t know that even at the new place they may have to face similar situation or may be even worse!
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They are unaware of the outside world and have just fantasized about the world through movies, books, and social media. The glamourous life of some celebrities, and their life struggle as described in media attracts them. This makes them think that if somehow they reach a particular country or place, all their problems would disappear. A lot of things, and facts are either not shown in these mediums or are discussed symbolically which they ignore. Further, everybody is not same.
Is running away from home illegal?
This question is often asked on social media, so I decided to address this issue here. No, I don’t think that running away from home is illegal anywhere. But, I would never advice to run away. Further, one should try to find solution of the problems they are facing. In addition to this, youngsters are not aware of the real problems that are going to come after running away. A lot of criminal gangs are active everywhere to exploit them.
How much a child or a teenager knows about the outside world? Their all knowledge is superficial and impractical and they would have to learn the lessons a very hard way! So, it would be better to get advice from an adult or a helpline. Instead of running away, you can also contact me for a discussion/solution.
Advice from an adult or a helpline
Timely advice for such youngsters, who just want to run away, can be of great help. Usually, they shrink from contacting others and especially such helplines thinking that nothing can be done. They think from the little mind of a teenager. However, if any close friend of such a runaway teenager, informs a responsible adult or a helpline, they can be saved from any mishappening.
Running away in adults
Most of the runaways are teenagers or youngsters, but cases of running away have been seen in adults also. However, their reasons are different from youngsters. With age they start understanding that by and large people are same everywhere and ups and downs come in life. But, they run for monetary reasons, failed marriages, legal matters, mental torture in relationships, and a lot of such other factors.
Even in these cases, timely advice, decision-making, and mental support can change the situation.
- Credits: My old blog – https://timeless121.blogspot.com/
- Featured Image Credit: John Gilpin.