My World-Case Studies

My World: The Diving Surfer

A case study for:Non-poisonous Bites and Wounds

I was diving the first time I went surfing. Well off the coast with Diamond Head in view, a friend and I were diving beyond the breakers. A surf board was floating on the crystal blue water. No surfer was in sight after waiting several minutes. I told DJ that I was going to paddle the board to shore and possibly find the owner. What I didn’t tell him was that he was a much more powerful swimmer than I was and I was exhausted. I straddled the board and happily splashed my way towards the coast thinking I may have to take up surfing one day. The wind picked up behind me.

Waves started breaking all around. A six foot wave caught me and I was surfing. I didn’t expect the board to keep accelerating like it did. It felt like I was going 60 mph. I noticed an out-rigger canoe full of tourists to my left. They would intersect me in about 30 seconds if my math was correct. Flying down the face of the wave with my scuba gear on, I could see tourists turning to take pictures. A sobering thought came to mind as will happen when one is facing doom. I have sailed large boats for years, but I was clueless about how to control a surf board. Close enough to count the individual teeth of the smiling tourist’s dentures, I rolled the board to the right falling in the wave’s washing machine turbulence. In a few seconds something impacted my head causing me to see stars. Surfacing, I tried to orientate myself. The canoe was 100 yds. away and the tourists were still snapping pictures, smiling, and waving. Blood was running down my face from a superficial gash 2 inches long. I applied pressure and kept it clean.

I had no suture or hemostats, but there was a hardware store nearby. Pulling the rugged gash together, I was able to super glue it about every eighth inch. It healed perfectly. Sitting on the beach drinking a beer, I realized that I never did see the surf board after the incident. Probably beyond the breakers again, awaiting the next diver who wants to learn how to surf I thought. An example is given because it may happen to you.

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