Diver diver are you ok?

Trip Start Dec 28, 2004
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Thailand  , Phangnga,
Wednesday, December 8, 2010

well my head has finally healed from the abuse that it took a few weeks ago.  having a large aluminum tank driven into your head can be a painful experience but luckily i was knocked unconscious so i didn't feel squat.  lots and lots of blood though....drip drip drip.  this has been one helluva year for me.  i had never had to stay in the hospital before and then in February i get very ill and spend 2 days in the phuket hospital.  i have never passed out before and then on a bus in Cambodia i pass out cold for an unknown amount of time.  i had never been knocked unconscious or had any stitches before and then an large Irish man rained down from the sky and crushed my head.  all in all i think 2010 can kiss my ass and be gone.  its still better then 1999 with my prison stint i suppose but i think i can rank 2010 as one of my worst years.  here is hoping 2011 is much better right?

the tourist season is off to a slowish start here and the thinking is that the slow economy is finally catching up with us.  add that to the strong baht and Europeans don't have much incentive to come over.  luckily Europe is having one of their worst winters ever so we are thinking people will start coming over when they grow tired of the cold and snow.  its always 32-35 (Celsius) here so no complaints on our part for sure.  the diving has been pretty nice since i have reentered the water though the currents seem to be getting pretty strong this year which can make for interesting diving if you have inexperienced customers. think of being on a treadmill and you are walking at a very slow pace which is very easy and relaxing (though not helpful in losing the pounds).  then all of the sudden someone pumps up the dial to 8 or 9 and you are running as fast as you can and still going backwards.............welcome to the world of diving in currents.

I had an interesting incident the other night on the boat.  we had completed our 4th dive of the day and had eaten dinner and were sitting around talking when i saw some flashing lights out of the corner of my eye.  it turned out that a dive group had surfaced near our boat (doing a night dive).  a rapidly flashing light can be a sign for trouble so i go to the side of the boat and yell down to them "are you OK?" and the simple response was "no!".  I run down the stairs to the dive deck (back of the boat) and there is a group of 6 divers approaching us with one being in obvious distress.  his BCD (buoyancy inflation system) was not inflated and he was sinking below the water with a look of utter panic on is face.  i drop down on my stomach and lay on the deck and get him by the BCD straps and pull his head out of the water while one of my coworkers jumped into the water and hugged him into the the "grill" that runs the length of the back of the boat, giving divers something to hang onto.  we stripped off his equipment while he was in the water and then the two of us pulled and pushed him up onto our boat.  He was about 70 years old and was doing his 4th dive of the day and was completely and totally exhausted to the point of passing out.  we laid him down and wrapped him blankets and provided oxygen while calling over the radio to the other boat (where this dive group had come from) so they were aware of the situation.  luckily he had no signs of decompression sickness and after breathing oxygen and lying for about 2 hours he was able to sit up and have a few drinks of water before getting on the dingy for the ride back to his boat.  all in a days work right?

I'm going to post some pictures of my head wound and i want to apologize for the photography because i was taking the pictures as they operated on my head.  makes for difficult angles.  don't worry, the pictures are not gruesome so enjoy.

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