I took my wife, my 2 kids
, my sister-in law, her husband, and their two kids
sailing with me on a fine summer day. They have come down for one night to visit from a nearby city. As always, I made the rules perfectly clear...I'm responsible for the boat, the other adults are responsible for their own kids.
Long story short, the other adults were preoccupied with themselves while the kids were playing below. The cabin
doors have a little hole for your finger, to release the latch, to open the door. The kids were peeking at each other through the hole, laughing their heads off. One cousin pulls the swatter part off a fly swatter and jams the pointy metal stick through the hole, right into the other cousin's eye.
I'm on deck
, the sailing is excellent, we are 5 km from our home dock
. The inlaws rush below to tend to their kid. I'm on deck
, have no idea whats going on below. No one below knows what to do or will tell me anything...they all just clam up. I'm wondering if I should call a mayday for medical
evac, but can't get an adult below to talk to me. I alter course for a closer marina, and press the boat for full speed. We are flying on a broad reach, faster than the engine
would move us. Below they are now getting sea sick.
We finally reach the marina, and I jump the queue at the service dock
and force my way alongside. We get the injured boy ashore to a first aid station near the service
dock. His whole family
gets in a cab to the hospital. Still, I have no idea what happened at that point. We leave the dock and sail back to our home dock.
At the hospital they had to "stitch" his eye, and it was saved. However, he could not travel, so his entire family
stays with me another whole week before they could go home...a very grim week to say the least.
The saddest part of the story is that the sailing that day was the best I have ever experienced with guests aboard. But no one seemed to care about sailing at all (before the accident)...too wrapped up in their own selves to notice what was going on around them. "is this my drink?","does this hat look nice?","what kind of sunblock should I use?" If any of them had shown the least interest in sailing, or what was happenning around them, the whole incident might have been avoided.