Medic!


(Gressak) #1

This is not a tenkara trip but a binge surfcasting fishing trip with an interesting incident.

I often worry more being deep in the wilderness fishing for trout than I
do fishing the surf.

I had an incident this past week while scouting a remote stretch of
beach solo. One entry and exit point about a mile away.

Nice water…daylight scouting and fishing. It was not the waves the
got me it was my lack of focus. I used the rocks as stepping stones
to get out to the rock I wanted to fish. Small hops…rock to rock. I
had been fishing the area all week doing the same. The only difference
was that I was fatigued from a week of fishing.

I fished a bit…and turned around to do my dance back to
shore…and that is when one of my studded boots skated across the
black algae covered rocks and sent me down like a sack of cement.
Probably a 1.5 foot drop into a mess of rocks.

I sort of had my wind knocked out of me and as I took inventory of
myself and my equipment. I noticed a split in the shin of my left leg of
my wetsuit…from which a thick red pulpy stream of blood was
flowing. KRAP!!! I peeled open the split in the wetsuit to find that the
1.5 inch gash continued about a centimeter deep or more into my leg
which was also agape in the same way the wetsuit was.

It looked bad and I really had no idea what to do. It did not hurt…and
for a split second I thought…“screw it I will fish the rest of the
morning anyway.”, but realized that was just denial how serious this
might be.

After my angel of reason slapped me across the face, I decided I had
to abort the fishing mission to get this thing taken care of. I intentionally
took a moment to come up with a plan and then went to execute it.
I was afraid to take off my boots and wetsuit to see how bad the
damage was. I was really afraid that if it was really bad I would make
some bad decisions or my leg would swell up and I would not get
my boot back on or worse pass out.

I was not sure what to expect. Is this shock or adrenaline. How long
am I gonna be ok…mentally and physically. What is the window?

I needed something to bind and apply pressure to this wound. The
one mile walk with a flowing wound might pump out too much blood.
I thought about how the beach often had ropes and other debris that
I could use to pinch the wound and apply pressure. Of course when
you need trash you cant find it. I did not find any until the second
cove, where I came across the strap of a 5 gallon bucket. The
connectors of the strap served well to use leader material to tie it
down and tighten it. It held up like champ over the mile of cobble and
rock.

Luckily when I got to the lot Pat was just leaving and I asked him if he
could help me out with my injury. He luckily had a good first aid kit.
The below pic was after we rinsed the blood off my leg with water, as
you can see immediately a good stream of blood continued to flow.

On the drive to the medical center, I must admit that I was starting to
mentally unravel. There is something about a physical trauma that
triggers some mental craziness. Nothing extreme but a touch light
headed and could not think clearly. Brain scramble. In the end it was not too
bad…one tetanus shot and 4 stitches. Hopefully everything heals up
and I am back in action soon.

The incident really has me thinking about carrying a roll of duct tape
or electrical tape with me from now on in the field. What would have
happened if it were more serious??? Like if I hit my head or had bones
sticking out or had broken something critical?

I normally do not carry my phone with me as often service is an issue
but I do own a waterproof vhf from the days I kayak fished.

Food for thought.


(Mike Kookagee Shelton) #2

Don’t forget the medical super glue.


(RONALD F BENNETT) #3

Thanks for reminding me of what I need to add to my backpack


(Chris Lynch) #4

i’m more likely to have superglue on me while fishing than any tape. Takes up less room in my pack, and works wonders.


(Gressak) #5

In this case tape would have been better than glue. Leg was wet…the cut was flowing with blood and the whole vacinity of the injury was mangled…so nothing for glue to bond to. It was a blunt force strike on a rock so much of the tissue around the injury was ragged.

Someone posted a pic with duct tape wrapped around a bic lighter in another thread. A great 2 in 1.


(Adam Rieger) #6

Whoa! I’m late to reading this…very glad you came out of there ok!! The bic lighter with duct tape is a great essential to carry. This reminded me that, I was fishing once in Chile with some friends…one is a guide. He insisted we all wear helmets. Not sure of the stats…but he said the biggest risk of death while fishing is a quick slip and hitting your head and getting knocked out while falling in the water…1 minute later and you have drowned…it does not take much and even if you are with people the sound of a raging river will not alert your buddy who maybe close by. I have meant to add a helmet to my game so many times and just been lazy to do it…your post may finally push me to do it. If you fish tenkara like the Japanese say…“with your feet” and you move a lot as I do…a light kayak helmet or something like that might be a good idea. I’m not sure how many times I have stepped and tested my hold before shifting only to shift and find out the foot still slips and down you go! Even with a wading staff!


(Mike Kookagee Shelton) #7

It is always a good idea to carry a med.bag with you fishing or hiking, just in case. .


(Gressak) #8

I bought one of these for when I carry a backpack. This is reactionary…I have gone my whole fishing life without ever being injured. Consider this insurance and saftety for you and others.

Not the best combo, but a good price for the stuff included. I think it saves about 5-10 bucks compared to buying separate.

This would be useful in a moderate injury. If someone has something more serious this stuff will probably only be minor in aiding them…Like bones sticking out of legs and arms. Just leave them in the woods for the racoons and fox to feed on.

about the israeli bandage…

try not to laugh…this guy has his headband too tight with his camo and what not…hahahaha.


(David Walker) #9

Yeah, I also never carry any type of first-aid kit. Perhaps I should. About the only thing I would have with me to use would be an ever present buff, my belt, or shred a shirt or shirt sleeve if needed.

There is a place I fish often. It is a high steep bank just down stream of a bridge that is covered with large stones to prevent erosion. Now and again I feel like I was lucky not to do a head first dive to the bottom as I scramble down closer to the water. Though most of the stones are the size of a coffee table all of them are not stable, and will sometimes take an unexpected tilt. Giving me a chance to hone my balancing skills.

Duct tape is a favorite do it all product. And when I was working I always had electrical tape to patch up the occasional cut. Working in hospitals people were always pushing me to go to the ER. What, and have them giving me a large bill for a applying a band aid. Ah, no.

The self-fusing silicone tape might be a good multipurpose type tape to carry that might work better than duct tape. AKA stretch and seal tape. [ the same stuff used to make a Sebata Yūzō type kebari , [瀬畑雄三さん風毛鉤]. It is stretchy and the self fusing feature may seal up a wound more effectively.

Getting the wind knocked out of you is a scary experience.
Not something you want to repeat. At least I did not. When I was maybe 12 y.o. I was alone and fell out of a tree, panic set in quickly when for several seconds I couldn’t get my lungs to suck in any air. I still clearly remember the experience.

Plentiful initial bleeding probably helped wash away a lot of bacteria lessening the odds of getting an infection. A good thing as long as the bleeding can soon be stopped.

Hope you are on the mend. :smile:


(Gressak) #10

Thanks David. Still healing…but to put things in perspective. I fished the same night of the injury. In waders not a wetsuit. Climbing on rocks…in the dark…hahaha. Back on the horse.

The shin is a slow healing spot. My shins are always beat up. I probably should wear shinguards.