I’m not a dedicated fisherman. Yes, I always keep a few fishing poles onboard and I have a small collection of lures. All of it is “simple school.” I thoroughly enjoy using a cast net for shrimp and bait fish. And, I’m seriously impressed with how much money some folks invest in fishing equipment and rigging for the boat. I’m more impressed with the items they overlook.
A few weeks back a fellow in the marina was staring up at his new outriggers as I was walking by. I stopped and joined him in his admiration. This, of course, led to cold beer and some fish stories.
A week later I saw his boat being docked by another man. I asked about the owner and how their family fishing trip went. I could see large blood spots that had not been washed yet and envisioned huge Mahi. He informed me that the trip turned into their worst nightmare.
It turns out that the owner’s sister-in-law and husband were fishing from different sides of the boat. The sister-in-law did not have very good casting skills and her line wound up going over the boat behind her. Unsure exactly where the line went she started to reel it back in. At this point she felt a tug on the line and she jerked the rod to set the hook thinking she had a fish.
What really happened was that the line went over the T-top behind her and in a pendulum motion hit her husband in the back. He grabbed the line to get it under control (which was the tug she felt on her end). Her response was to set the hook in his neck, puncturing the carotid artery.
Where’s the first aid kit?
Thirty some miles offshore there is no one to call. Their first aid kit was an out of date 4 x 6 inch plastic box of brown colored Band Aids, small ace bandage, and some alcohol wipes. There was nothing to mitigate arterial bleeding
Now to be honest, we very seldom use our first aid kit or the skills we were taught. That means most of us are out of practice. First aid kits are expensive. Not as much as outriggers but more so than other safety gear such as fire extinguishers, flares, or personal flotation devices. But when you are beyond immediate medical help and someone is bleeding to death, a well-stocked first aid kit will be a necessity.
I hope you consider spending good money on a robust first aid kit or medi bag. I hope you familiarize yourself with its capacity and practice the basic rudimentary skills. I hope you never have to use it, but still spend more good money to replace its contents as needed.
This story ended well for the crew, but just barely. The husband was in ICU for more than a week as the reduced oxygen supply to his brain has caused some lifelong issues. He will go fishing again.