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#70903 - 03/31/06 08:40 AM Sailing Injuries  
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,074
bullswan Offline
Pooh-Bah
bullswan  Offline
Pooh-Bah

Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,074
Northfield,NH USA
As an off-shoot to the "Capsize Kills Tourist" thread and Mary wanting to start some kind of incident reporting of near-miss/accidents I am curious............

How many of you have had (or had members of your crew had)serious injuries while sailing?

We've all had split-ring finger and rope burns and banged shins/knees but what about BLOOD and BONES type things? Knocked unconscious maybe? Torn ACLS? Separated Shoulders? Come on tell us the gory details......

Greg


The nice part about being a pessimist is that you are constantly being either proven right or pleasantly surprised. - George Will
"It's not that liberals aren't smart, it's just that so much of what they know isn't so" -Ronald Reagan
-- Have You Seen This? --
#70904 - 03/31/06 09:12 AM Re: Sailing Injuries [Re: bullswan]  
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 2,920
PTP Offline
Carpal Tunnel
PTP  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 2,920
Michigan
Trey's got a really good (well, bad) one... but I'll obviously defer to him if he wants to share.

#70905 - 03/31/06 09:38 AM Re: Sailing Injuries [Re: bullswan]  
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 545
grob Offline
addict
grob  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 545
Brighton, UK
Most common injuries seem to result from slipping while on the trapeze, usually as a result of a near pitchpoll, the worst that I know of is a guy in our club who had to have stitches in his butt when he landed very heavily on the corner casting of his Hobie 16.

I have had dents in my shins from similar accidents, usually from being thrown forward then hitting the front beam on the return journey.

The golden rule during one of these trips is be sure that no matter what else happens both feet go the same side of the mast

Another injury that happened to a crew of mine, was when he didn't get out from under the hull when we righted a H16, the hull came down on his head as he was looking up to avoid it, I never realised until then that a black eye can occur almost instantly.

Gareth
www.fourhulls.com

#70906 - 03/31/06 10:42 AM Re: Sailing Injuries [Re: grob]  
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 828
NCSUtrey Offline
old hand
NCSUtrey  Offline
old hand

Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 828
Greenville, SC
Faulty rigging on a righting pole almost cost me my eye once on my old Nacra 6.0. Rigging broke loose from the underside of the hull and hit me in the eye. There was an adjustable jam cleat (like for an adjustable trap system) and a shackle that actually hit me. It broke all the blood vessels in the front of my eye (hyphema? sp ptp?), and I had to go to an ophthalmologist every day for 7 days straight, then every other day for another 7 days. I couldn't look down at all for those 2 weeks, and had to sleep in a chair where I could only lean back-no laying down. It was terrible...but I didn't lose my eye, and in fact, my vision remained better than 20/20 in that eye-no vision loss whatsoever. Live and learn....

#70907 - 03/31/06 10:56 AM Re: Sailing Injuries [Re: NCSUtrey]  
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,690
DougSnell Offline
Pooh-Bah
DougSnell  Offline
Pooh-Bah

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,690
Seabrook, TX
Guys:

One of the reasons I ALWAYS wear a life jacket is I got my bell rung real bad on a accidental jibe on my 17. I was dazed for a good 10 minutes and just lay there on the tramp. ALWAYS wear a jacket, may be uncomfortable in light air, BUT it may also save your life.

Doug Snell
Hobie 17
www.tcdyc.com

#70908 - 03/31/06 11:58 AM Re: Sailing Injuries [Re: DougSnell]  
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 221
hrtsailor Offline
enthusiast
hrtsailor  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 221
North Carolina
Greg,

I think it is a good idea to get this information to increase awareness of what can happen. I would like to keep it in perspective, however. In 20 years of sailing my Hobie 16 neither I nor anyone with me has had any injuries, close calls, or serious problems. I have pitchpoled a couple of times while on the wire, had my crew come unhooked and fall off in 25 or 30 mph wind, turned over while solo and out on the wire, had my mast come down due to a broken bow tang while I was out on the wire, and fallen off a friend's boat when his dogbone rope broke. I did a lot of sailing in that time. I also never witnessed any injuries to any other cat sailors in all that time. The sport is pretty safe but as the other posts indicate bad things do happen.

Howard

#70909 - 03/31/06 01:58 PM Re: Sailing Injuries [Re: hrtsailor]  
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 101
davidn Offline
member
davidn  Offline
member

Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 101
chesapeake bay
When I first got my Hobie 20, I had a young lady show up to crew for me at a regatta. When putting our gear on, I noticed that she put on a pair of field hockey shin guards. That was when I found out the jib turning blocks are pretty notorious for scaring one's shins. Not the fashion accessory a young woman wants to sport around.

I had another gal who crewed for me that went for a sail with another skipper on a Hobie 20 (he was trying to bird dog her away from me). He probably had a good chance since he (and she) were single and I'm an old married guy (with a very understanding wife). Anyway, he goes ripping off, trying to impress her, and runs aground, thereby quickly stopping the boat. In racing, we used to say it wasn't the crashing that hurt you, it was the sudden deceleration. Same problem here. She went flying and tore some tendons in her wrist. That was 2 years ago and she hasn't raced for me or anyone else since. Two surgeries later, she hopes she will get back the use of her wrist/hand. On the positive side, she is getting married this summer to a guy (not the same one) whom she met while crewing for me.

DavidN
H20 781

#70910 - 03/31/06 02:11 PM Re: Sailing Injuries [Re: bullswan]  
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 109
Kaos Offline
member
Kaos  Offline
member

Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 109
Fl
Sailing injuries on cats that I have witnessed have been mostly during pitch poles. Prindle 19 a crew mate flew out on the wire on a pitch pole and came back to the boat hiting the mast and it broke his neck. He hit the mast hard enough to capsize us and knock the mast off its base. Other pitch poles that resulted injury where bad bruises whenever the person was unluckly enough to hit a part of the boat. I also know that if a crew mate releases the trap wire too early while tension is still on the shock cord, the ring can catch you in the eye resulting in a lot of stitches. Another incident is breaking a trap wire and then being dragged by the main sheet wrapped around your leg. That leaves a good mark too. Of course, this needs balance with the 25 years of going out and nothing happening.

#70911 - 03/31/06 03:30 PM Re: Sailing Injuries [Re: bullswan]  
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 149
Catius Offline
member
Catius  Offline
member

Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 149
Long Island, NY
Good topic...You know how the ultra-risk-taking downhill skier never has an accident on the slopes and then twists his ankle on the stairs to the pub...

Just last week went for the first time to the beach and ripped a muscle in my lower back lifting up the boat...Been walking around like a 93 year old hunch back since...

There's muscles you don't use in the winter, and when spring comes and I tend to forget that in my enthusiasm for the first warm sprinkles of sun...


Thomas Mystere 6.0
#70912 - 03/31/06 04:34 PM Re: Sailing Injuries [Re: Kaos]  
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 66
ReefedOne Offline
journeyman
ReefedOne  Offline
journeyman

Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 66
Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA
When you consider the speeds, hard surfaces, and precarious trapezing, we probably "should" be wearing helmets--with face masks--but wouldn't that just suck 99.999% of the time? I don't think I can gauge wind with my earlobes covered, lol.

Quote
Sailing injuries on cats that I have witnessed have been mostly during pitch poles. Prindle 19 a crew mate flew out on the wire on a pitch pole and came back to the boat hiting the mast and it broke his neck. He hit the mast hard enough to capsize us and knock the mast off its base.


I think I read about that incident in 'Performance Sailor' magazine in the late 90s... happened in Biscayne Bay? Did that poor guy heal up without permanent disabilities?

PS: How does P-19 stack up to Nacra 5.8???

#70913 - 03/31/06 04:53 PM Re: Sailing Injuries [Re: ReefedOne]  
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,690
DougSnell Offline
Pooh-Bah
DougSnell  Offline
Pooh-Bah

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,690
Seabrook, TX
Thomas:

When you are able to move some, go to the gym or use a TotalGym type thing and do seated rows at light weight. If you can't do that just sit on the floor and try to touch your feet. This exercise helped me recover from a bad car wreck a few years ago. I am looking at getting a Mystere 4.3

Hope this helps.

Doug Snell
Hobie 17
www.tcdyc.com

Last edited by DougSnell; 03/31/06 10:01 PM.
#70914 - 03/31/06 09:36 PM Re: Sailing Injuries [Re: Catius]  
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 169
SunnyZ Offline
member
SunnyZ  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 169
Upstate, South Carolina
Quote
Good topic...You know how the ultra-risk-taking downhill skier never has an accident on the slopes and then twists his ankle on the stairs to the pub...

Just last week went for the first time to the beach and ripped a muscle in my lower back lifting up the boat...Been walking around like a 93 year old hunch back since...

There's muscles you don't use in the winter, and when spring comes and I tend to forget that in my enthusiasm for the first warm sprinkles of sun...


Take two Aleve as often as every 12 hours. Use a heating pad. (You feel 93, you may as well look the part) Trust me on this one. I broke my back 6 years ago in a real 'agony of defeat' moment and then had two back surgeries. I have completely recovered now but I know very well how to deal with back pain.
If you would like to never do that again...lots and lots of core exercises like crunches...but not until you recover from the pull. For now, Take your Aleve and lie flat on your back on a heating pad for a couple of hours. It helps to put a couple of pillows under your knees.
Good luck

#70915 - 04/01/06 08:46 PM Re: Sailing Injuries [Re: ReefedOne]  
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 72
CatRon Offline
journeyman
CatRon  Offline
journeyman

Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 72
Montreal , QC
I bought a wake board helmet last year and wear it when I'm out on my H16 on "small craft warning" days. I sail alone and need/want to have fun yet be safe.
On my 2nd or 3rd day with the helmet I catch a boom across the head. Whap!!! Just shook it off and spent the rest of the day thinking how glad I was to have purchased and worn the thing.


----------------- H16 '82 Tornado '88
#70916 - 04/01/06 11:10 PM Sailing Injuries [Re: CatRon]  
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 140
Qb2 Offline
member
Qb2  Offline
member

Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 140
Brisbane Queensland- Australia
One crew impaled his knee on the mast rotation spanner which went in behind the knee cap (patela?) when the cat which was riding on hydrofoils dived through a wave instead of going over it and came to a sudden stop .

An 18 foot QB2 skipper fell off trapeze and got dragged for an extended distance with the mainsheet loopeded around his forearm. He had to wear a half cast to support his arm for months before the bones re-knit multiple fractures. On recovery He bought a lazer.


#70917 - 04/02/06 08:53 PM Re: Sailing Injuries [Re: Qb2]  
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 12,278
Jake Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Jake  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 12,278
South Carolina
It's not major - but I'm sporting a nasty deep muscle bruise in my left thigh that has yet only resulted in a good bit of swelling and a pronounced limp (I can't wait for it to start making colors). Crewing for a feller on a Hobie Tiger, we got a little overzealous and pitchpoled with me on the wire. I saw it coming (and it looked very unrecoverable), blew the chute, grabbed the shroud and stuck my leg in on the boat right behind the partially raised daggerboard in an attempt to keep my weight back. The skipper had the same instinct to stay to the back of the boat but unknowningly found the back of my knee as a great foot step. With the boat vertically on it's nose for what felt like an eternity, my thigh supported both my weight strung out the side of the boat and skipper-doodle's weight on the other side with the pointy end of the daggerboard. I should have bought the ticket for the trip around the forestay.


Jake Kohl
#70918 - 04/02/06 08:57 PM Re: Sailing Injuries [Re: Jake]  
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 3,114
MauganN20 Offline
Carpal Tunnel
MauganN20  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: May 2002
Posts: 3,114
BANNED
I'm sporting a nice chunk of my middle finger dangling by a thread.

Thats about all.

Oh and a sunburn.

#70919 - 04/03/06 01:08 AM Re: Sailing Injuries [Re: MauganN20]  
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,012
Darryl_Barrett Offline
old hand
Darryl_Barrett  Offline
old hand

Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,012
South Australia
I'm not quite sure if this is really a "sailing related injury" but, in the early eighty's when we were building and selling one a day 4.3 Sundance cats (4.3m long, 6'8" beam, standard as sloop rigged, sailed one up on trapeze), a guy in his late fifties walked into our workshop, spent 2 hours telling us about how his wife had just divorced him and taken him to the cleaners and that he would be "better off dead", and went out the door with a new Sundance in tow. I arranged to meet him at a local beach that afternoon and run through the rigging and sailing of the boat with him. This all went well and he had a real blast for about an hour and a half then came to shore with big round glassy eyes and a smile from ear to ear. A half an hour later with his cat packed up and hooked onto his car he dropped dead from a massive heart attack. Shocked the hell out of me but my oldest son who was there with us said "at least he was happy when he went"!!!

#70920 - 04/03/06 08:20 AM Re: Sailing Injuries [Re: Darryl_Barrett]  
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 1,226
bvining Offline
veteran
bvining  Offline
veteran

Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 1,226
Atlanta
My best injury came before I went sailing one day. I had just gotten a new knife - and a new block from the store and proceeded to open the block with the knife. I took the top 1/8 inch of my finger off with the knife while opening the package. My crew that day is a surgeon, so I kept the lump of skin and flesh for him to see (it stayed on the blade). He said it probably needed stiches and I shouldnt get it wet.

We went sailing anyways.

#70921 - 04/03/06 11:30 AM Re: Sailing Injuries [Re: bullswan]  
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,459
Keith Offline
veteran
Keith  Offline
veteran

Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,459
Annapolis,MD
Here's a couple:

1) Wife got severely bruised when she got knocked off her feet on the wire and swung forward, then back into the boat where the rear bracket for the magnum wing (which were removed at the time) stuck out - lots of pain and ugly colors that lasted for awhile.

2) On a keelboat while trimming a jib on that boat for the first time, did not know that the winches were two-speed and expected the handle to freewheel in the backward direction, did something to my shoulder that took many years to go away.

3) Got hit in the head with the clew track/mainsheet block on a 6.0 during a high-wind accidental jibe during the early stages of the first leg of a C-100 - knocked me silly at a bad time and opened up a cut that probably should have had stitches. Once my wits returned I put my hat back on and we ultimately won the race. Hat looked pretty gross when we got to Solomon's, shaved a bit of what's left of my hair and used a wound closure bandage for the next day.

4) During that same race good friend had his eye permanently injured from flying trapeze gear, resulting in a rescue situation. After this race I started to consider helmets in certain conditions, and making sure that eyewear had some impact rating.

The best one was when one of the Fleet's Inter-20s capsized at the start of a Tuesday race, and the crew fell in such a way that he straddled the boom. Broke the boom, and the crew was walking mighty slow for awhile - not sure what was hurt more, his pride or his pride, if you know what I mean... Team shall remain nameless...

I'm sure there are more.

#70922 - 04/03/06 04:32 PM Re: Sailing Injuries [Re: Keith]  
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 805
dacarls Offline
old hand
dacarls  Offline
old hand

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 805
Gainesville, FL 32607 USA
WOW-there are a lot of folks who didn't have or use their "chicken line"! Reduction of trips around the forestay can be reduced like 95% with the Hawaiian-style righting line also used as a chicken line when attached to the rudder gudgeon pin. (Especially critical on pitchpoley things like- but not exclusively- Hobie 16s). USE THEM only if you want to keep your female crew.

I had a Ringy Dingy pin come out of a shroud pin, pulled by the beach wheels tie line. I never noticed it, until tacking before the race, when the Hobie 20 mast came down- with the mast base pin still in! A totally novice crew looked up but he never moved. The mast fell across him, pinning him to the deck, but just allowing him to breath. He- and I were lucky, as there was enough room for him to breath but not get out, and there was no leverage to move anything. Lucky stars on that!
It took 10 minutes for a chase boat to come over to lift the mast tip (Red Lobster Regatta, Florida).

Conclusions- 1. regattas need chase boats.
2. Never leave a mast base pin in,
3. Tape or look at the curl pins before leaving the beach.

This fellow was undamaged but was never seen again. Don't blame him.


Dacarls:
A-class USA 196, USA 21, H18, H16
"Nothing that's any good works by itself. You got to make the damn thing work"- Thomas Edison
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