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February 2009    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 24, No. 2   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Ouch! Diver Spears Himself in the Groin

from the February, 2009 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

What a way to start the new year. An Australian diver had to be rushed to the hospital after stabbing himself in the groin with a speargun. The drama unfolded off the rocks at Point Perry, an hour north of Brisbane, when Greg Robertson, 25, was using a speargun for the first time. A big wave knocked him off the rocks and pushed him onto the speargun, which had been washed out of his hands by the wave. The six-foot-long spear rebounded off the rocks, pierced his inside upper thigh just millimeters from his genitals and femoral artery, and lodged several inches under the skin.

His friend Casey Jensen saw the incident and told the Sunshine Coast Daily, “The spear’s barbed on the end, so it’s locked in there. We joked about it... we told them to not spear themselves and mistake themselves for a fish, and then it actually happened.”

A rescue helicopter dropped two crew on the nearby rocks, then performed a winch rescue in front of hundreds of onlookers gathered for the spectacle. Paramedics stabilized the bit lodged in Robertson’s leg and unscrewed the long pole so there was only six inches sticking out. Robertson had surgery to remove the spear later that night and was reported stable and resting the next day.

This reminds me of one of my teenage spear fishing trips in Puget Sound. I took a friend out for the first time and as soon as he put his head underwater he saw an enormous fish, or so he thought, and jabbed it with his three-pronged Hawaiian Sling. Trouble was, the fish was his green Voit Frogfin, and he jammed himself in the top of his foot. He yanked the spear out on the beach, and the diver went diving again.

- - Ben Davison

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