Down & Out in Shoal Bay

Tell us about your own or others' fishing, boating, 4X4 or camping trip gone wrong. With pictures.
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Hawkeye
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Down & Out in Shoal Bay

Post by Hawkeye » Thu Nov 29, 2007 8:19 pm

Hi, everyone Hawk here. Haven’t been humbugging you fellas for a while ~ I’m sure many of you think that’s good ~ hey 2 Rods :roll:

I haven’t been able to get near the forum for 3 weeks because I have been in Royal Darwin Hospital following a bit of a disastrous trip to Shoal Bay on Saturday 10 November when my wife Lorna & I headed out from the Buffalo Creek boat ramp for a pleasant days fishing in some of our favourite low tide holes in Shoal Bay near The Rock in our treasured 4.8m Quintrex Freedom Sport.

On the way over we had a bit of a trawl past the mouth of King Creek just before the turn of the high tide in the hope of hooking one of the elusive metre barra known to frequent the area. After a couple of runs past the mouth without any joy we reeled in and headed over to the holes between spots 5 & 15 and settled in with a cuppa and some snacks to wait for the tide to go out.

About 10am the tide was low enough for me to wander off across the sand flats to chase a few mullet so Lorna could be set up with some livvies out the back of the boat while I moseyed around some of the other holes flicking lures in likely looking spots.

As a back up I took a handline with me to set up with a live mullet while casting lures amongst the snags in the holes. After about 15 minutes without any success in the first hole I decided to check out another nearby hole. I left the handline at the first hole as figured that if I hooked anything with it the fish couldn’t go far. The second hole looked pretty good but there was still an hour or so to go to the bottom of the tide when the barra would be really on the bite so I thought I would go back and pick up the handline and head back to the boat and have a bit of lunch with Lorna.

When I got to the hand line it was apparent that something had taken the bait and headed into the snags. As it was only 3 or 4 metres out to where the line was snagged I decided to wade out and de~snag it. The water was just above knee deep and when I got out to the line I felt some sort of marine animal swim between my legs and inflicted a 3 inch long and 1½ deep bite or sting on my right calf.

Bleeding profusely and in a lot a pain I stumbled the 300 odd metres back to the boat. Lorna helped me back in, bandaged my leg to stem the bleeding and settled me in as best a possible on the floor of the boat.

It was still a couple of hours before the turn of the tide and recognising that I was in need of relatively urgent medical attention Lorna tried with little success to get through to the ambulance on the emergency 000 number. Mobile phone reception was poor so she turned her attention to the marine radio. Neither of us had any idea how to use the radio effectively but Lorna managed to get through to Coast Radio Darwin on Channel 10 who arranged for an ambulance to meet us at the Shoal Bay Boat Ramp once we could get underway with the incoming tide.

The pain from the bite / sting was enormous. There was very little Lorna could do to alleviate it for me. All I could do was writhe about and scream in agony on the floor of the boat waiting for the tide to come in enough for us to head over to boat ramp. We initially thought that would be around 2pm but we didn’t underway until about 4:30pm, some 5 hours after the incident occurred. On a scale of 0 to 10 with the 10 being the worst imaginable pain, I put my pain at 10 for the entire period. It was great when we finally got to the ambulance at Shoal Bay and they were able to administer pain relief. :cry: :uhh:

Lorna still had to get the boat back to Buffalo Creek and on to the trailer and then back home. Thankfully some other fishos (Oxo and the boys from Trueline Excavations) helped here take the boat back to Buff Creek and our neighbour, Owen, helped her back the boat up our steep driveway. :mrgreen:

Once I got to hospital I thought I would there overnight to allow the doctors enough time to clean wound and put a few stitches in to put me back together. However a flesh eating bacteria found in the tropical waters this time of year had got into the open wound and resulted in a rapid deterioration in the condition of the wound which resulted in a fist size hole in the calf of my leg within a few days.

After nearly 3 weeks of treatment with massive doses of antibiotics and super doses of oxygen in the hospitals’ hypobaric chamber (used for treating scuba divers with the benz) the battle with the bacteria seems to have been won. I am now just waiting on a skin graft to start covering up the open wound. This will hopefully occur on Friday 30 November 2007.

There has been a lot speculation of what actually bit or stung me. Could have been a stingray, a small shark, a baby croc or some other fish. I will probably never know…. :croc: but I will probably (maybe) take some regard Lorna’s new rule for future trips to Shoal Bay, that is “ stay in the boat……!!!â€Â


Tom a (hawk...eye)

Fishin again...... lookin for a meterey......

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Shane Doevy
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Post by Shane Doevy » Thu Nov 29, 2007 8:29 pm

Sheeet Hawk
no good bloke - bl..dy scary stuff - good to hear you are on the mend - guess it goes to show that there really is some nasty stuff out there and we all need to take great care - could have happened to any one of us.

get well soon.

Shane
Work is what i do to pay for fishing!!

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Hawkeye
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Post by Hawkeye » Thu Nov 29, 2007 8:29 pm

A few pics :shock: :shock:
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Tom a (hawk...eye)

Fishin again...... lookin for a meterey......

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Hawkeye
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Post by Hawkeye » Thu Nov 29, 2007 8:31 pm

more pics :shock: :shock:
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Tom a (hawk...eye)

Fishin again...... lookin for a meterey......

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John Whitegoods
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Post by John Whitegoods » Thu Nov 29, 2007 8:33 pm

that sucks mate bad luck

chicks dig scars (not sure about flesh easting bascteria holes in your calf but ... yikes)

i was once walking around in shoal bay whn i kicked a bit of dry mangrove root without seeing it.

A peice shaped exactly like a pencil went completly into my foot between the big toe and the next toe. We could see it sitting under the skin like a new tendon ...

Mate pulled it out with his leatherman and i walked back through all the mud and cr.p fearing a fate exactly as you describded above.

Never got infected but a year later little bits of mangrove root are still coming out of my foot ...
Cheers,

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Ray Broughton
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Post by Ray Broughton » Thu Nov 29, 2007 8:34 pm

Geez Hawk.... Thats some rough luck, bit of a horror story! Unbelievable! glad your on the mend though mate, will definitely think twice before mucking around in the water out there again.... Terrible place for something to go wrong.

Great story, well not great for you, but very well written... :mrgreen:
Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will sit in a boat all day drinking beer.........

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Post by jonesy » Thu Nov 29, 2007 9:14 pm

Holy Sh#tballs Hawk!! I'm never getting out of the boat again after looking at that! :shock: .

Get well

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2rods
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Post by 2rods » Thu Nov 29, 2007 9:17 pm

bl..dy hell Hawk...... that is some nasty nasty stuff there mate.... I must say I was wondering where you had got to....I was missing our jousting :grin:

After seeing a few similar things over the years I alway try and keep long pants and boots on.... you just never know up here..tropical ulcers and the like are nasty....

Thank god for the radio in the boat....and for a deckie/wife who didn't panic too much by the sound of it :bow: :bow:

I was saying to someone just the other day that the NTPFES should have a hovercraft just for this sort of thing....the USCG have huge ones running around for rescues.

I gather you had a first aid kit in the boat by your story....I carry 2 (just cause I can) and I will be making sure any deckies know how to use the VHF from now on......

Hope it all heals up OK for you..... I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy let along my jousting partner :grin:
:cheers:

2RODS


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If I can't be a good example, then I will just have to serve as a horrible warning...

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SMITHY
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Post by SMITHY » Thu Nov 29, 2007 9:25 pm

that looks frigging nasty hawkeye, glad to here your on the mend mate but it will make a lot of us think twice about what we are doing
They say time is money, I dont have much money cause my times spent fishing

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Kevin Kevinson
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Post by Kevin Kevinson » Thu Nov 29, 2007 10:04 pm

that has me thinking twice about wading out at SB...i generally spend half my time out there drunk walking around up to my waist...Jonesy will vouch for that.
Posted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 7:03 pm Post subject:

that sucks mate bad luck

chicks dig scars (not sure about flesh easting bascteria holes in your calf but ... yikes)

i was once walking around in shoal bay whn i kicked a bit of dry mangrove root without seeing it.

A peice shaped exactly like a pencil went completly into my foot between the big toe and the next toe. We could see it sitting under the skin like a new tendon ...

Mate pulled it out with his leatherman and i walked back through all the mud and cr.p fearing a fate exactly as you describded above.

Never got infected but a year later little bits of mangrove root are still coming out of my foot ...
Listen here johnny whitegoods, not infected??? I seem to remember your foot blowing up as big as a footy and you missing a very important game of that your coach and team needed you for...cant believe i gave you best forward...must have been drunk
Cheers

KK (aka Hilly)

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Post by dodgyone » Thu Nov 29, 2007 10:06 pm

Thats nasty. Will make sure im wearing pants in the water in future I think.

Be interesting to find out exactly what caused it? Probably a ray? :| Maybe Powertail? Something with toxins obviously.
Don't wanna be a flat water hero.

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Post by tatie » Thu Nov 29, 2007 10:12 pm

Jeesus Hawk, i was in there the next day getting the regular jitters everytime i waded thru a hole... with good reason!

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flicker
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leg

Post by flicker » Thu Nov 29, 2007 10:19 pm

holy siht!!!, :shock: nearly lost my lunch over that one.
Here we are thinking salt water is good for cleansing wounds.

Hope you get better soon hawk.

Cheers Flicker
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Matt Flynn
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Post by Matt Flynn » Thu Nov 29, 2007 10:25 pm

Crikey hawkeye.

Maybe a ray got you. Rays are very painful and they would have taken that bait.

Surely the doctors can do an antibody check for you? I would have thought there is medical value in knowing what got you in case there are after-effects.

Hope you heal up quick - looks like you'll need some good books.

I'll have to make a special FFF award for this story :drinking1: :drinking1:

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harmsey
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Post by harmsey » Thu Nov 29, 2007 10:36 pm

:shock: :shock: :shock: hoooly craap :shock: :shock:

glad your ok man, but geeze that pic of your leg is gunna haunt me everytime i walk through water up here from now on, thanks :uhh:

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