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Case Summaries

When the dive boat hit a wave this diver was thrown into the air

Sitting at the front of the boat can be hazardous

REPORTED STORY:


While travelling from one dive site to another, the water was rough. I was sitting at the front of the boat and was thrown into the air and landed on my back. The wind was knocked out of me and the pain was excruciating. At first I couldn't breath and I couldn't move. The next dive was cancelled and the boat made its way back to the dive shop. A serious back injury was suspected and I was transferred out of boat on a surf board. Luckily there was a doctor who specialized in spinal injuries at the dive shop who instructed the staff how to get me off the boat. I was transported by ambulance to the local hospital. X-rays and a cat scan were performed and I was diagnosed with no spinal injury, but a partially collapsed left lung.

COMMENT:

When travelling in a small boat, the general rule is to maintain three points of contact with the boat at all times, for example when standing on two feet then hold a rail with your hand. The center of the boat is often the most stable place to be situated.

~ Peter Buzzacott, MPH, PhD