Join Date: Sep 2004
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Re: Navicula Vulgaris
Here's a little case study in keeping with the theme of the thread. Hopefully, it may give us an opportunity to learn something other than the fact that guys who ride these things are very often idiots.
Several years ago I was driving a small launch across Provincetown (MA) Harbor when a guy on a jet ski jumped the wake of a high speed ferry boat. He first crossed the ferry's stern and jumped the wake, turned around and tried to jump it going the other way. He was probably doing 25 knots when he stuck the front end of his jet ski into the 2+ ft near vertical wave/wake. The jet ski stopped monentarily as if it had hit a brick wall...but it stopped just long enough for our wake jumper to begin the predictable movement over the handlebars. About the time his chest was moving over the handlebars, the bouyancy of the jet ski took over the jet ski began moving vertically up to crest of the wave. The wave jumper took the handlebars in his rib cage and instead of flying straight over the handlebars he began moving upward and forward at about a 45 deg angle. He flew about 30-35 ft doing a 1/2 flip -- and landed on his back.
I'm on the scene so I figure it's up to me to render aid. He has two companions on jet skis, but they aren't much help. I guess if he'd just fallen off the jet ski, they could have helped him onto the back of their's. But our wake jumper isn't very frisky at the moment.
Now for the interesting part.... I pull up beside the guy....he's conscious, a little dazed, but conscious. He's bleeding badly from the gash on his head. Water temperature was 60degs and he wasn't wearing thermal protection. I open the gate of the pontoon boat launch I was driving and asked my passengers to stand aside. Then it dawns on me that I don't have a boarding ladder of any kind and the water line is at least 18" below the level of the deck I'm standing on.
OK, SailNetters, what do you do now?
PS Although I didn't know it at the time our wake jumper had cracked vertebrae, a broken elbow,and several broken ribs in addition to the gash on his forehead.