Shark Attack (Well Almost)
26 February 2012
When I last posted we had arrived at Crandon Park Marina where we tend to spend time when we’re in the Miami area. Cold front came through yesterday afternoon and it was blustery and rainy. But we were secure and the cooler, windy weather was a certainly a relief from the hot, sultry weather recently. We get up at our usual time this morning and I intend to do chores today but more than anything I want to go for a run!
I’m sitting in the cockpit and it is variously pelting rain and later sunny but always blustery. I note a smaller sail boat several moorings behind us apparently having difficulties. One guy is in the water and the skipper is trying to bring the boat to the mooring. Of course, I cannot resist coming to the “aid of the party” so I hop in my dinghy and motor over. They have caught their mooring line in their prop and the guy in the water is valiantly diving to cut the offending line away. They ain’t havin’ fun.
I have a super-duper pull knife which I purchased for this very vicissitude. As you can see from the picture it is a lethal thing designed to hook on a rope, pull and the razor sharp blade should cut readily. It’s stowed in a protective sheath and again in a plastic container. As I drag it out of the container, the sheath remains and the scimitar like blade slices right through my left palm. I felt almost nothing but blood started to spew all over everything. I looked at my hand and knew it was deep as fatty tissue was bulging out through the cut. I immediately head back to Sea Sharp and yell to Judy to get my wallet, phones and bring me to shore. Once ashore, we go to the marina office where they all 911. Soon, three police cars with six officers descend on us; very polite, efficient and concerned. They are the first responders and tell me that the fire department is on its way. I feel fine (Judy doesn’t) and have great conversations including asking to take their picture with me for the blog. Soon a great big, honking fire truck arrives with four personnel. They are excellent and assess the situation and conclude that I will probably survive. I have more chats with them including the guy obviously in charge whose son just came back from a hockey tournament in Toronto. They dress my cut and soon an ambulance comes. Somewhat ignominiously I am forced on to a stretcher and into the van and transported to the Mercy Hospital. At least they didn’t uses the siren.
I have a good chat with the EMT. He notes my unusually low pulse rate and I tell him it is s result of being a long time runner. He tells me about his novice running attempts and then about his family.
This is a Sunday late morning and fortunately the hospital is quiet. I am triaged though several competent and polite care workers and eventually a very young Physician Assistant puts 15 stitches in my hand! I gave them my Medicare and Blue Cross Cards and never heard anything more about payment. I’m sure I burned up several thousands of dollars of coverage today!
So I know Judy is probably frantic back at Sea Sharp but my iphone battery dies and I cannot contact her. I take a cab back home but get him on the way to stop by a drug store to get the antibiotics and pain killers they prescribe.
Back at the marina, I get the launch to take me back to Sea Sharp and Judy is relieved that I’ll make it.
I have to call a hand specialist doctor tomorrow to ensure I have no nerve or tendon damage. I have to return to the hospital in two days to have it checked out then of course in a week to have the sutures removed. My biggest concern is the extent of the dexterity I’ll be allowed in the next while. I’m captaining a small boat, intending to return to our summer marina and then home to be with our families.