Off the Grid Medical Emergency – Taking a Header Offshore OBX

Not every offgrid adventure is in the mountains or in the backcountry. Sometimes it’s 40 miles offshore and out of range of cell communications.

Having spent four years in the Navy and more than a year of that time at sea, I am no stranger to being in the middle of the ocean for weeks or months at a time.

Normally an offshore fishing trip is a long boat ride with some intermittent excitement, meaning “fish on!” But sometimes things go south, and that is what today’s blog post is about: medical emergency offshore.

it was the 3rd day of a three day Outer Banks North Carolina (OBX) fishing trip with two marine buddies of mine. The first two days were awesome fishing, both inshore bay and offshore fishing where we caught mackerel, stripped bass, cobia, albacore and other species.

the third day was booked for a full offshore adventure on the Tuna Hunters OBX Fishing Frenzy out of Nags Head. target Mahi mahi (dolphin) , tuna and marlin.

At around 0700 and after a two-plus hour run offshore in moderate-heavy seas (8 -10 foot+), I was walking from the starboard side bait box to the port side fighting chair where one of my friends was sitting and chilling. The boat took a rouge wave as I was walking and next thing I know I’m laying out on the deck staring at the sky, not knowing where I was and who the ugly guy was looking at me.

I lost my footing and fell backwards hitting my head very hard against the bait box and was unconscious for a while. The captain came down to see WTF happened while my marine buddy quickly rendered first aid and stabilized me. There was no blood and no other bodily fluids coming out of my head, nose, ears or eyes. Just a bad concussion.

The captain wanted to radio the Coast Guard and have me air rescued or turn around and call it a day. I decided to stay and fish, but told him if I feel I need to leave, I’ll ask him call the Coast Guard.

I stayed and fished a little, but the others made sure I did not go to sleep or doze off as I did suffer a bad concussion. They did this by throwing ice or water at me.

Next day was a long drive to the airport which required me to stay focused and not get into an accident, and then a flight home. Once I got to the airport don’t remember how I got to my house, the rest was a blur until a few days later when I went to the doctor.

The fishing the last day was epic and I caught my personal best dolphin 35-plus pounds and lived to tell the story!

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