Man vs the Monsoon

Note: The purpose of this site if to provide free open access medical education (FOAMed) in the context of rural and remote health. Though all stories have been inspired by real cases, all identifying details such as names, ages, locations and background descriptions have been thoroughly changed to ensure the absolute privacy of the patients, families and communities we serve.

The Situation

The monsoonal rains had been keeping most people indoors, the storm had been roaring and the seas were rough. The soon-to-be-patient was a 45 year old Australian crew member working on a Chinese container ship passing through the northern Torres Strait. He had been soaked by the storm while attempting to secure a dinghy to a pilot boat that was traveling with the main ship. On his approach to the boat a large wave washed over the dinghy and tipped it backwards and then upside down into the ocean while the motor was running. The man was dragged underneath the dinghy. He attempted to surface, but came up against resistance of the hull of the pilot ship. Disoriented, he dove again, trying to find a way to the surface and avoid the hazards of the propeller and other boat.  Eventually he surfaced with air above him and whilst being tussled in the waves grabbed onto one of the tires hanging from the pilot boat. He held on tightly to the tire as the wave crashed over him. Sometimes the waves went over his head, he swallowed water and he gasped for air. The sole crew-mate with him was unable to pull him back on board. Continue reading “Man vs the Monsoon”