Survival Stories


Dr. Michael Townsend, Marine Ecologist

This is a testament to how awesome your cases are. I lost it in Kaipara Harbour and it washed up on a beach on the Awhitu Peninsula about a month later. The west coast of New Zealand is pretty rugged with big swells and a harsh marine environment. It would have been pounded on its way in before being dumped on the high water mark. The case had definitely been floating around for most of the month it was lost – just by the size of the goose barnacles which have started to encrust it. Also, from the barnacle growth, I can tell it had spent nearly all of its time with the seal below the water line. When the case was opened it was clear there hadn’t been any leaks and the O-ring had worked a treat (slight moisture inside was from condensation only). All my gear was returned to me (by a kind soul called John) and my phone was working fine. I’d entirely given up hope of getting it back and some people I spoke to, reckoned it would be on the bottom of the ocean (I heard, “yeah those cases are waterproof, but they’re not THAT waterproof”, it was nice to prove those people wrong and get all my belongings back). I use Pelican cases regularly in my work, recognising them as the best available. I also use the Pelican laptop case (as well as my grey 1400) when I’m out on the boat and my boss uses various cases when he takes his gear down to Antarctica!


Randy Toelle

I was out in the south Gobi desert in Mongolia a while back, and we had a flat tire on our vehicle. The guys I was with did not want me to help change it, they told me they had flats all the time. After they got the tire and wheel off, they knocked the truck off the jack and into the sand. I told them I wanted to use my Pelican case as cribbing. They said no and went looking for rocks to use to jack the rig back up. While they were gone I took the jack, and using my case as a block changed the tire. I never had a doubt about the ability of the case to handle the load. They were astounded, (we had a lot of gear in the rig), but they are believers now!

Thanks for building the best case in the world.


I wanted to share that my S100 backpack saved my computer and quite possibly my job.

A few days ago, I had set off for work in a hurry. I set my backpack behind the car to be put in the trunk, but remembered I left my keys inside the house. I forgot about the backpack, and backed down the driveway. Five minutes later I realized what I had done and pulled over. I had dragged the backpack for about 2 miles behind the car. The backpack straps were in shreds and the waterproof case was ground down a quarter inch, but the laptop was fine. My tablet was fine too. All of my client data was safe, and in any other backpack I know the outcome would not have been the same.

As a field engineer, I put this backpack to good use and this is the best rugged laptop bag I have ever owned.


RioBotz Team, PUC-Rio University, Rio de Janeiro Brazil

"RioBotz is a team from PUC-Rio University in Rio de Janeiro that builds combat robots. We're one of the biggest in the world and we've won more than 100 titles over our 10 years of existence.

Combat robots need to be tough! Their structure is made from high grade materials, like aeronautic and naval aluminum, specials steels and titanium. But they aren't completely tough; they also have fragile parts, like electronics and batteries that need to remain intact until the match ends.

One of the biggest problems about robotic competition is transportation. Imagine carrying extremely fragile components, heavy parts, sharp pieces of steel and other robotic parts around the world without any damage? Every year, we need to carry about 2,000lbs of such equipment per competition.

Most of our previous cases only withstood a single trip (or less), being destroyed during the transportation while carrying each 70lb worth of metal parts. Even when those cases survived they didn't appropriately protect all our expensive and custom-made equipment. With our Pelican cases, we can transport everything safely, from motors to electronics. We also use them to keep our tools and spare robot parts during the event. Pelican cases let us transport our equipment from Brazil to anywhere in the world, allowing us to compete in high-level competitions and achieving great results!"


Tim Cothren

I was out of town when Sandy hit. When I returned I saw 6 feet of sea water bashed through my apartment near Sheepshead Bay Brooklyn. The place was/ is wrecked. I found my cameras underneath a soaked futon and dresser. I held my breath and opened them up. Holy #### !!!!! they were dry and fired right up.


US Federal Agent

My team and I were first responders to a terrorist attack on a hotel in Islamabad, Pakistan. As part of our recovery effort at the blast site, we "repatriated" one of our armored vehicles. Inside the vehicle, which was in the immediate impact zone of the SVBIED, we discovered an unscathed Model 1640 Pelican Transport Case. I've enclosed photos of the Pelican Case taken the day that we recovered it from the demolished vehicle. The case stood up against a massive explosion and flying shrapnel.

We gave the case back to its rightful owner, who thankfully was not in the vehicle at the time of the attack. Seeing how well this product withstood this type of abuse, I can say that you have found yourself several new lifetime customers!


David Brown, Dive Master. Hampshire UK. 2005

David used a Peli case to carry his sensitive equipment - GPS, housing, cameras, phone, sea maps, tide charts…


Mike Harding, BBC presenter, travel, writer, poet, playwright. www.mikeharding.co.uk

During a long trekking expedition in Zanskar and Ladakh, in Northern India we had all our stuff on horseback. About half way through the trip one of the horses ponies overbalanced and fell from the track into the water. The horse was unhurt beyond a couple of scratches, but the case had been dragged underwater, banged on rocks for a good while and dragged out again. I opened the case and discovered that my Hasselblad®, my spare Nikon body several lenses, dozens of films and a DAT recorder and tapes for my audio work, were all completely unharmed and dry!


David Rainsbury, Journalist and Sailor, freelance for several sailing magazines www.rainsbury.co.uk

I make long voyages aboard my own small yacht, Piper. My camera and laptop are accommodated by two 1500 Peli™ Cases and a Navman chart plotter fits in the smaller 1200 Case. Before starting my trip I did a test by throwing my Peli Case 1500 loaded with old camera bodies and lenses into the water, and it floated happily. No water had gone inside. The I took the Cases on board for three months of continuous sailing and photography. They have been stood on, sat on, loaded in and out of boats and vehicles and on a variety of assignments, even in foul weather - By the end of the trip there was light scuffing on the outside and foam insert was a little worn but most important - its precious contents have come through it all unscathed!


François, fire fighter. 2005

As I have owned my Super SabreLite for long time ago and used it for personal use and in my job as a fire fighter, I can't tell you how great of a light it has been for me. Some months ago, while at a fire, I accidentally dropped my light between a wall space. It fell about 5 to 6 meters before hitting the concrete floor below. My first thoughts were of disappointment, for I didn't think that I would be able to retrieve it. After getting out of the attic space that I was in, I walked around to the other side of the wall, to my relief there just happened to be an opening in the base of the wall where my SabreLite landed. It was still shining when I picked it up, and after a quick inspection I couldn't find a thing wrong with it. After this I carried searching the bedrooms of the house where I found an elderly lady whom we successfully removed from the house. I was amazed because I feel that the quality of the light allowed me to save the life of another human being. Thank you!! I will continue using the Super SabreLite for the rest of my career. Keep up the great work!

Pelican Products, Inc. CAT-CHOW

Ross O'Donoghue

On a recent trip through Zimbabwe the 1150 Pelican case became the prey of a member of the carnivore family. Shumba, less than a year old, pounced on the case and subjected it to its inch long canines. The Pelican case withstood its brush with the jaws of death and also the rock bashing hike into the Zambezi valley and all the whitewater Ross encountered in the following weeks.


Stuart C. Boreham, The first physically disabled person who successfully rowed the Atlantic Ocean

My epic journey (3341 miles between La Gomera - Canaries - and Barbados - West Indies), on my own, unassisted and unsupported, took me 109 days 12 hours and nine minutes. In a very bad storm the boat nearly capsized. The hatch was not sealed completely and the cabin was flooded. The back cabin had 20 cm of water in and the Peli™ boxes containing the on board video equipment were totally soaked and partly submerged by sea water. It took me 12 days to get the cabin fully dry after the event. No water got in to the boxes and no equipment was damaged. I would gladly endorse Peli™ Products for anyone else planning an extreme adventure.


Jason Bitterman - Oda 551

At this time the helicopter had been destroyed by two maverick missiles. The only thing that was salvageable was the Pelican case. The case was completely intact with minor burns and one broken latch. The contents of the case all functioned properly, nothing was damaged. The case contained 6 satellite phones, an electronic radio system, a highly sensitive digital camera and a block of C-4 explosive. We used the case and equipment throughout our stay in Iraq, which lasted a few months. Thank you for a fine product. Your product is a definite asset in the fight for freedom.


Steve Smith, Adventurer

We chose the best gear that we could get our hands on, including Pelican boxes to safeguard our camera gear, radios and satellite telephone. At 81° North latitude, one of our plastic kayaks, with a Pelican box mounted on deck, became caught in the current-driven ice pack and was thoroughly steam-rolled. Many items loaded inside the kayak were crushed, but the Pelican deck box emerged through it all unscathed.


Linda and Gerard Blankestijn, Team Holland

When I tried to drive the Camel Trophy Land Rover Discovery up a steep slope to a higher road the vehicle tipped over. We rolled down tumbling sideways until we stopped lying on the side. During the tumble only one Pelican was damaged because it had hit a rock. I was amazed even more to find that nothing inside the cases was damaged. Since the Pelican cases performed so well during the Camel Trophy I am no longer surprised about their strength and can count on them to roll with the punches.


Daryl Dolynny

The plane hit with such force that it sheered the left wing and float right off and as the plane rapidly sunk, everyone was able to escape out the exits. For over nine hours, the plane was submerged some 6-8 feet under water, loosely held to the right pontoon! When we were finally allowed to recover our gear, I was planning for the worst, because the water damage or impact had destroyed just about everyone's gear. But when I opened the lid on my Pelican 1650 case, I was astonished to find that there was very little water inside and everything was intact!


Jim Wiltens, Adventurer

My buddy and I purchased four camels in the Thar Desert of India and rode a thousand kilometers to the border of Nepal. All of our delicate gear - cameras, computers, solar panels, and a satellite phone - were protected by Pelican boxes. When you see one of your 1,200 pound pack camels rolling in the sand, scraping against a tree, or bucking like a bronco, you want the best gear protection possible. Pelican boxes are the answer. Pelican boxes are watertight, dust proof, rust proof, and camel proof.


Ken Jones — Westminster Police Department, California

When the officer returned, the case had obviously been run over and sported tire tracks. Even though the case was severely scratched with a destroyed corner and latch, the very expensive digital camera it housed was completely protected and in good working condition. We returned the case and received a new one no questions asked. The case that ended up costing around $36, protected an item worth roughly 20 times more, turned out to be a pretty good investment!


Owen Rice, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army Combat Engineer

On October 6, 2004, my vehicle suffered an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attack. I was sitting in the front passenger seat and my case was located on the floor between my feet. The explosion happened directly under my feet, ripping the entire engine compartment apart. If it wasn't for the 1150 case, I would not have been able to send you these pictures. Once again, thanks for a great product!


Patrick Crawley

As I emptied the water out of my canoe on the shore, I lifted the case and it felt heavy like a case filled with water. Maybe I didn't get any pictures on this trip, but I still had my dog and that was good enough for me. For the remainder of the trip, the camera sat untouched in its Pelican case. Later on when my wife picked me up, I told her the story, as I have told you, and asked that she open the case for me. She did, and the camera was DRY! Thank you Pelican.