Thursday, August 03, 2006

Crazy Boat, Take II

Another boat, another run-in with Crazy.

As chronicled just below in last week's post, we went out to a very-broke boat off Adak, way-the-hell-out-there in the Aluetian chain. As mentioned, while my friends and teammates assigned that day to our helicopters got to pull everybody off the ship, I got to circle it and take pictures on the C-130.

Thems the breaks.

Cut to last Friday, where I was for the second time in a week called at work to come in, this time at the consulting firm I work at. This one stung, too, since our boss there had JUST sent me to get beer for the office, and I'd spent his money on a Black Butte Porter, my favorite of all the flavors.
Another boat mission, another way-the-hell-out-there in the Pacific deal - this time North of the Aluetians rather than South. But this time I was on the helicopter.

6 hours later, we pulled into a hover over a perfectly upright but steaming-at-10knots fishing vessel. Myself and Paul Nelson hoisted down onto the deck, between smokestacks and cranes, and retrieved a relatively healthy by medical standards, and VERY healthy by body-size standards, Hawaiian fisherman. Listed at two and half bills, but I wouldn't be surprised if that was low.

Back on deck, trying to hoist out with the litter, I got about 3 feet off the deck when the ship hit a wave and sent me and the patient crashing over a railing, his 300-lbs-counting-the-litter on top of me. Not often you get the chance to snap both femurs 500 miles from help, but here was my chance.
It was not to be.
I rolled off of the railing the one direction I could, which was directly under the litter - I'm here to rescue this guy; somebody pull him off me.
So that was fun.

But once we got up the hoist, it was an uneventful 5 hour ride home. After 30 minutes of monitoring, pulse and BP checks and starting an IV (got it on the first stick, thankee), I gave up pretending that he was sick and let him sleep most of the way home.

Fortunately, Paul grabbed a lifering from the boat on the way up. When we got back at about 2 a.m., we took some shots at the Section.

If you're wondering what's in my right hand, that's a Black Butte Porter I grabbed on the way out the door 12 hours earlier. Thankee.