Ever been injured on your boat? Just happened to me. - Page 5 - SailNet Community
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post #41 of 73 Old 04-12-2013
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Re: Ever been injured on your boat? Just happened to me.

While single-handing across Indian Ocean about 600nm south of Sri Lanka in about 25 knots but a big swell running, I gybed the boat and as the head-sail filled the boat fell off a wave and the combination slammed me hard into the wheel - broke 2 ribs. That makes for difficult sailing especially when you're alone. I was at sea for another two weeks before I got a break.

Two years ago, I got my hand caught in an out-of-control windlass that was reeling the chain in and fed my hand into the gypsy. Little finger was severed, finger next to it badly lacerated and the remains of the severed finger was pulled off the palm which split the flesh all around the finger,

Luckily I was able to get to a good hand surgeon within 24 hours and they re-attached the severed finger. It has no feeling and nail doesn't look great but the surgeon did a brilliant job and it is actually very hard to see where the join is. But I have pictures of the severed finger to show any non-believers


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post #42 of 73 Old 04-12-2013
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Re: Ever been injured on your boat? Just happened to me.

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Originally Posted by bristol299bob View Post

I was on a boat that had the traveler across the companionway. We were out in 15-20 knts, 2-3 ft high frequency chop (typical of the Neuse river). I was on the windward side, kneeling on the cockpit seat. I was focused on the main, considering trim changes. Just then the helmsman accidentally gybed.

I always think of the boom as the killer in an accidental gybe. Back then it ok didnt occur to me that along with the boom the main sheet also sweeps a portion of the cockpit (on some boats).

When the mainsheet swung over it caught me in the back. It tightened with a *snap*, and the force threw me against the cabin top. I was bloodied, punctured my lip, and sore. I looked (and was) pretty beat up.

I am (and was) grateful, it could have gone so much worse.
This just happened to my 1st mate as we were coming across the Neuse, she stuck her head out just as I was gybing. The main sheet caused a small gash on her temple creating a blood trail from the companion way to the head.

My only real injury was being hit by lightning last summer.

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I am the Capt of my ship but sometimes I think I had more fun just being the cabin boy.
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post #43 of 73 Old 04-12-2013
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Re: Ever been injured on your boat? Just happened to me.

Good topic. What I do in order to try to avoid injury around the boat, heavily loaded lines, hot engines, bilge crawling, etc. is to carefully think through every evolution before attempting it, step by step, and order the process in my mind. Then I never try to rush anything. Just take my time. I scared myself once when we were anchored in about 25 kts and I went forward to ease out more rode and I stupidly ended up with the rode in my hand, off the cleat!! I really couldn't get it back on the cleat without help. Whew! That was a close call. After that I began the process described above. My advice is always think it through before attempting the task. This includes silly things like being sure all the needed tools are within easy reach when working on the engine, for instance.
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post #44 of 73 Old 04-12-2013
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Re: Ever been injured on your boat? Just happened to me.

Oh, and talk about injuries sailing... Have you seen the SA post? 2 broken legs, when he slipped between these boats racing... OUCH! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vYwyUeX2Us

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post #45 of 73 Old 04-12-2013
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Re: Ever been injured on your boat? Just happened to me.

Once as we were heading into an anchorage on the Chessy after a day fighing the chop, I foolishly went to the mast (barefoot) to lower the main. It was pretty choppy and with little way on the boat was bobbing around pretty vigorously. Still all was going fine until I noticed my toes were above the horizon and pirouetting to port. I landed full lenght on my left side which hurt so bad it momentarily immobilized me. Fortunately I wedged between the cabin top and shrouds rather than testing the lifelines. The hit took the wind out of me so bad all I could do was yell to my wife that I was OK and to just stay at the helm. It was probably a minute or more before the pain subsided enough for me to extricate myself and get the sail down so we could get in the anchorage where I could consider how stupid it was leaving the cockpit with no footware and how lucky I was I didn't break anything or end up stunned and overboard.

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post #46 of 73 Old 04-12-2013
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Re: Ever been injured on your boat? Just happened to me.

Every spring, at the start of each season, my boat "beats me up" pretty badly .... there's plenty of blood, skin, tears and cursing. I like to imagine that she missed me and is punishing me for neglecting her through the winter

Anyhow, few years ago I was anchored in Great Salt Pond, Block Island (RI), some 3/4 nm away from the dighy dock. I had some weekend guests aboard, they were planning to catch a ferry back to the mainland on Sun pm, so we all hopped in my inflatable dinghy and I dropped them off at the dinghy dock.

As I was maneuvering around the dock I managed to flip my dinghy over my head (I'm not telling how ... outboard died instantly, me and my backpack went swimming (think laptop, phone, camera, vhf etc). I managed to right the dinghy and collect my stuff, then rowed back the 3/4 nm - against the wind/chop - to my boat. Only then I realized that my arm was hanging a bit limp, and I was unable to lift it over my head ... must have fractured my shoulder cap (still makes noises and occasionally hurts, years after).

I spent 3 days swinging around the anchor, literally just eating and sleeping, until my shoulder recovered enough so I was able to weigh my 35lb cqr with no windlass and singlehand back to Boston.

Last edited by akavishon; 04-12-2013 at 09:32 AM.
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post #47 of 73 Old 04-12-2013
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Re: Ever been injured on your boat? Just happened to me.

If I don't bleed while working on a project it's not done yet.

Lessons learned are opportunities earned.
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post #48 of 73 Old 04-12-2013
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Re: Ever been injured on your boat? Just happened to me.

if I don't bleed on a project I haven't started it yet :-)

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post #49 of 73 Old 04-12-2013
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Re: Ever been injured on your boat? Just happened to me.

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if I don't bleed on a project I haven't started it yet :-)
Yeah, we kinda' have a similar tradition on Palmetto Moon. Its not a trip or a job completed until someone bleeds a bit.

The Sailing Gods demand blood sacrifice.
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post #50 of 73 Old 04-12-2013
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Re: Ever been injured on your boat? Just happened to me.

Yup, most accidents happen at the dock. A couple of years ago, I fell down the companionway stairs, fractured my shoulder blade. I violated the rule of one hand for me and one hand for the boat. My mistake was trying to negoitate the stairs in the dark with both hands full. Missed the first step and tumbled down without hitting the rest of the steps, so fell about 4 feet. Landed with my arm on the galley counter with the rest of me in a pile on the floor. Ouch!!
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