February 2013 #4: Why You Don't Need a Speedometer To Know When You're Going Too Fast
1. Welcome to the latest edition of the Summary of Mishaps, more documentation that common sense is far less common than one would hope.
A. Overseas, an E-4 equipment operator was helping coach a school baseball team. Positioned behind the catcher, he was doing two things at once: helping the pitcher with his mechanics and helping the batter with her stance and swing. Alas, he should have been doing three things at once, namely helping the catcher with the fine points of getting the ball in the mitt, because the catcher missed the pitch and it hit the coach on the arm just above the wrist.
“The area where the ball hit instantly welled up to the size of a grapefruit,” the report said (Note to self: find out if this is how the “Grapefruit League” got its name).
B. In South Carolina, a civilian materials handler had to move a 41-pound box. She had a documented disability that kept her from lifting anything heavier than 10 pounds (admittedly, a very inconvenient restriction for a material handler). So she tried to move it with her foot.
Something in her abdomen (the report specified “muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, etc.”) went south, she ended up on the binnacle list, spending four months on light duty. And, presumably, she now has a weight restriction not only on what she can lift, but also on what she can try to shove with her foot.
C. This one isn’t particularly funny, as you’ll readily see when you read this description: “Hunting when he was shot in the shoulder with an arrow from another hunter.”
Ouch. Preferable to a shotgun blast or a .30-06 round, but that isn’t much consolation as your visions of venison vanish, replaced by pain, bandages, stitches, and the guaranteed end of bow hunting for a while, since you need both shoulders to be fully functional.
Hope you don’t want to know many more details, because other than the fact that visibility was limited to about 15 feet thanks to fog and/or mist, that the inadvertent target was an E-6, and that it happened in Florida, details are missing.
Was the guy who shot him a friend (possibly ex-friend)? Or was it a stranger who happened to be in the vicinity? Was the other bow hunter a good shot or lucky? When you’re hunting for deer, do you just hear a noise in the murk and let fly? Is it easy to mistake a 6-foot man for a waist-high deer?
According to my older brother, who does a ton of different kinds of hunting, the archer was probably just "brush shooting," which is “when you shoot at movement and not know really what it is.” Doesn’t that sound exciting!
D. In Nevada, an aviation structural mechanic second class had acquired a 660cc ATV and was taking it out for his first adventure, along with an intrepid passenger. The Sailor drove along a gravel road for a while, then tried to turn left onto a dirt trail. He put his left front tire into a rut and became the umpteenth ATV rider to learn that the “all” in “all terrain” is a piece of marketing hyperbole. The ATV tilted up on its two left wheels with enough of a jolt to unseat the Sailor and pitch him off into the sagebrush.
He landed hard on his shoulder. The impact collapsed his lung, which in turn put him in a hospital for three days and kept him away from work for nearly three weeks. The passenger wasn’t hurt.
“Speed was unknown at the time of incident as this model ATV is not equipped with a speedometer,” the report said. All it has is a little text display that lights up when the rider gets ejected and that reads, “Yep, that was too darn fast.”
2. That’s all for this week, buckaroos. See you next time. Welcome to the latest edition of the Summary of Mishaps, four more quick seminars in how not to do stuff.
February 2013 #3: Eeek! A Frog!
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