Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Accident That Changed It All

Against all protests by the crew, and captain we were on our way to this small platform in the delta

The vessel we are on is made to take a large amount of supplies to the rigs both for their daily activities and the job that are doing, so it is not a small boat.

On the way out everyone on the incoming vessels are radioing and asking what the hell we're doing going out into this storm. We radio back what and why, all they can do is wish us well.

The seas are rushing into the channel at the sea buoy, we are not going that far only about 20mi or so, but you would think that we were 120mi. out at the size of the seas.

We make it to the platform 2 men are on watch there and writing for us, we get in place for this 10min. operation of transferring water to them. Then they in form us they do not have a crane to raise our water hose for transfer.

Whole different operation now.

They must manually lower their water line to us, we must find a way to secure the vessel to them so that we may stay in place to transfer.

We find one cleat that is good enough to tie up on, so we do.

The vessel must be maneuvered below their tag line holding the water line.

The engineer and I position ourselves at the Stern port side bit to retrieve their line, the captain will position the vessel below the tag line, we get the line, transfer the water and outta here.

Did not happen.

We are in position now,tag line being lowered, I reach out with the boat hook to catch tag line, out of no where a rogue wave, lifts the vessel up on the port side and dips violently on the starboard side, the three inch line holding the vessel snaps up from the bull works (side of the boat), catches me under my shoulder pit on my left side, heaves me in the air , across the vessel to the starboard side, like a rag doll.

I am slammed into the starboard side stacks (engine exhaust cover). The engineer is caught across the chest and neck and slammed into the stern. He starts screaming and crying, the captain is trying to take control of the vessel, people running from everywhere the whole crew now on the back deck.

The captain radios for a medic helicopter, 2 men down on the back deck. I just lay there in a kinda of daze knowing what happened but not knowing if it was real.
The captain yell at the crew to not move us that the medics were on the way. Scared, wet, cold,
dazed, thinking is this it then I die at sea.
Wake up at the sound of a helicopter, on a stretcher now being loaded up for the ride in right.
Did not happen.

The helicopter is not prepared for a two man lift, and cannot fit any stretchers inside, that helicopter leaves, one medic stays. Two hours another helicopter arrives this time we are loaded for the 2hour ride to the hospital in New Orleans.
At the hospital I am x-rayed but they x-ray the wrong side of where I got hurt, our home office guy is outside the x-ray room waiting. He tells me the engineer has died, seem his spline was crushed and it took so long to get in that he bled to death.
I break down and cry, hurting from the injury, but more so in grief, he had two little boys and I am no youngster.
They release me to return to work, but the company guy want me checked out by another doctor. I get checked out. All of ribs on my left side are broken, my ankle is broken,my right wrist is broken, the meniscus in both knees are torn, the muscles in my neck are torn, concussion, and I have broke my back in 4 places. What a miracle to just be alive I am told, I breakdown and cry, BS BS BS BS why did I live, that poor kid with babies, his family needed him much more than mine needed me.
Sorry i still cry, I don't feel like any miracle happened, i just think of that kid screaming on the back deck.
Any way i recover go back to work two years later, have a massive heart attack, they missed the bruised heart, have a quad bypass, and still live.
All i can do now is try and forget the accident in my dreams and pray that those little boys don't hate me for living instead of their daddy.


just-adam-okay? said...

Having died twice myself, I believe I have a lil' insight into it. From my own experience, death is dark, cold, and lonely- I wish it on no one. It may seem as if the entire thing was haphazard, like it was mere chance that kept you alive........things happen as they should, thats my belief.
Now, before I provide constructive criticism, would ou be willing to read and/or comment on mine?

Anonymous said...

Wow...I gotta say it really makes me appreciate the life that I have been given. I've never really had a near death experience so I can only imagine the emotional and mental pain you went through during and after this incident.

Adam said...

good greif what an ordeal. thanks for the story

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your story. Although I did not suffer, I did provide end of life care for someone very close to me. Since then, I have always felt sorry for people who do not have the opportunity for closure. Her death haunts me in different ways from which you are haunted. Remember, this too shall pass.

whiterabbit said...

Thank you for sharing your story gives me alot to think about.

Hunter said...

Thanks for sharing your story Bob. There's a lot of depth there.

Anonymous said...

Im glad youre alive bob, if only so I can point and giggle at you.
that story sucked man. well I mean well written, and you told it great. I like happy stories more. can you tell the story about when you were stationed in bora bora and that time you got so drunk with your mates and those ladies. then woke up a month later in bangkok with that tattoo on your chest with two arrows pointing that said we are bobs boobs :D

Ness said...

Absolutely fantastic Bob. Very moving and well written. Excellent!


therealbobthought said...

thank you one and all for your comments
this was a true happening to me and has been very hard to over come.
so from the heart THANKS

Kyrie said...

Bob you have a much more profound side of you when you post :) And for ME that's a good thing. You're very caring.

I am sorry for what happened to the father, the man you said was supposed to be alive instead of you.

But honestly, now. You need to be around or else John won't have anybody to poke and I wouldn't be as social in the Coffee Shop. I read your post after this accident one, and I can say that you haven't been a bother, more likely the opposite. It is truly an honor for you to read my blog.

Thank you for sharing your story. I, too, have a story. Perhaps I'll be comfortable to share it with you in a post someday. :)

You'll overcome this. It'll take time, but stop thinking that you shouldn't be the one alive.

You, just like anyone else, have the right to live. A person's life equals a person's life. Please don't feel bad anymore :(

Chase said...

You know Bob, you being alive has more of a positive effect than you think. You and John make a great team, not only because you both stink at spelling, but because your a hilarity. I don't laugh much, but when I'm at the coffee shop, you and John seem to be a great tag team that will always make my day.

I understand your reasons for regret at your survival. Sorry.

Sexsage said...

Just found your blog today and I can't stop reading. It has made me laugh, made me cry and made me grateful. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. And thank you for being here.

Lots of kisses and hugs from me in Aussieland. xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

Innocent Owner Of Mad Cats said...

Bob, you made me cry. Very sorry you had to go through that. Things happen in our lives that we can never forget. Instead of trying to forget, you have to try to learn to live with it. Buddy, I'm glad your here...if only so's John has someone to point at and gigggle. :)

Looking For Normal said...

My heart just hurts for you. I'm so glad that you had me go back and read this. I finally have the courage to write about when i was given ten minutes to live and my back surgery. I swear to God just the surgery makes you depressed let alone everything else you went through. I wondered why I was still alive; then I saw my three kids, mom, dad, and husband walk through the ICU to me. Thank you so much for your story. Ive come to realize you either laugh or cry. God Bless You.

Sarah said...

just read this and it made me speechless. i can't imagine going through that much and still trying to have humor and make others laugh. what courage! i DO think there's a reason why you were spared - never give up.

Millie River said...

That is sooooo sad! I teared up reading this. your emotions came flying out of your words! I can also relate with losing someone and feeling how you felt-what if I did things differently, would they still be alive? I can see now how blogging helped you release and heal! =)

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I Have started this blog as a rest stop to collect my thoughts, share my ideas with my friends and to start work on what ever, I started blogging at the last of august, 2009. it says 2008, hell I don't know where they got

just kicken it around