February 2013 #2: "Highly Motivated" Is No Excuse
1. Welcome to the latest edition of the Summary of Mishaps, in which we ask you to pay close attention as a couple of Sailors stop paying attention (Hint: What you are doing right now is much less hazardous than what they were doing).
A. In this week’s “Boy Am I Glad I Buckled Up” department, we have a logistics specialist second class who was driving along an interstate highway in California, three days into four days of liberty and a couple hundred miles into his trip. He felt thirsty. The good news was he had a water bottle. The bad news was that it wasn’t handy, so he had to root around for it.
Conditions weren’t bad at all. It was mid-morning, and he was driving on a level curve in light traffic. But what followed documents just how fast stuff can happen at 70 miles per hour. He got distracted and let his car veer left. He overcorrected and went off the pavement. His truck’s tires dug into some sand. The truck flipped and rolled three times.
So it was back to the good news and bad news. The former was that, thanks in large part to his seatbelt, he emerged unscathed. The latter was that his truck was worth $10K less.
B. A hospitalman in Florida was motoring along one afternoon when, like the LS2 above, he tried some multi-tasking. The tasks involved were first, steering, second, watching the road, and third, lighting a cigarette. One would think the first two would invariably take priority, but not in this case. Temporarily, no doubt, but just long enough to miss seeing a Nissan truck that was stopped to make a left turn. The Sailor didn’t miss hitting it, though.
More proof that smoking is bad for you.
C. Overseas, seven foreign civilian employees were waging war on cockroaches in a sewer line. Six manholes gave them access to the battleground. Their primary weapon was a pesticide fogging machine. They partly opened one manhole at a time, then lowered the machine on a rope down to the combat zone. Two minutes into the drill on the fourth manhole, something exploded down in the sewer line. The blast knocked down a worker who was standing two feet away.
According to the mishap report, the pesticide was flammable, making it an “inappropriate item for use.”
The bad news was that the worker suffered burns, scratches and cuts on his neck and face. Docs had to fish a lot of rusty metal fragments out of his eyes. He was off the job for three weeks.
On the plus side, that section of sewer was absolutely cockroach-free.
D. An O-1 nurse corps officer joined a trio of corpsmen at a gym for what the mishap report called “some late night physical therapy.” At some point, the workout included trying to do 200 pushups. Therapy then turned into trauma, because dehydration combined with overexertion produced rhabdomyolysis. This is a nasty condition in which damaged muscle tissue releases a protein into the bloodstream that can harm the kidneys and lead to kidney failure.
Among the cause factors for this pushup binge, the mishap report listed the O-1’s “competitive nature” and the fact that the corpsmen were “highly motivated,” which I think is code for “liable to do something nutty.” The O-1 missed three days of work and spent a month on light duty.
2. That’s all for this week, friends and neighbors. See you next time.
February 2013 #1: More Not-So-Funnies
Got a Funnies-worthy yarn? Need to get something off your chest? Send us your feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have a question about some of our odd terminology, become an insider by studying up on our Glossary. And if you have even more time to kill, check out the exhibit list from the Summary of Mishaps Museum.
Subscribe to Summary of Mishaps -- Email your request and mailing address to email@example.com