ocean perils

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Brian
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ocean perils

I've got a note in the diary which I kept out there, referring to sea snakes and 'living coral'. did anyone come across this in the flesh (so to speak?)
apparently the snakes inhabited coral near the shore line and, whilst the bite was not fatal, they could hit so hard that they would penetrate right through to the bone.
story on 'living coral' was that anyone scratched by this stuff would find it multiplying inside the wound.
Never came across an example of this, but have often wondered if it was just a scare story or true possibility.
Myth or true??

Bri

fisherman5
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Hi Brian, I have never come across the Coral living in a wound but I know if you got coral in a scratch or the like then you had one  hell of a problem and many visits to the Medical Centre / Hospital. I am surprised that the sea snakes were not fatal because I have always understood that most if not all sea were something you kept well away from. I am having a problem with my message writting in that I can't get the cursor to start a new line, if I have finished a paragraph it wii automatically drop down to tha next line. Is this in the programme or is it me?????                        Regards Stan T  

Brian
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Hi Stan

I'm in Germany at the moment, returning 29th.  Will reply at length on return.

Cheers Bri

Bri

Brian
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Good Morning Stan.

Now back in dear old Blighty.  In response to your earlier comments, I never witnessed any coral or sea snake incidents directly but heard from more than one source that a coral scratch could multiply within the wound and that snake strikes could be devastating. 

My only near miss came from being daft enough to get swept out to sea and thus bother more about shark attacks.

Ref your dificulty with composing text; I was visiting my daughter whilst in Germany and made her aware of the problem you're having.  She's the brains behind this new site and will send you a response directly, hopefully with a 'fix'.

Best regards, Brian

 

Bri

Dave
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Hello Brian,


 


Everyone blamed the coral when a minor scratch became infected, I did for many years.   I have now realised ionised radiation damages the immunity system and slows up the healing process.


It was the bombs to blame, rather than the coral.


 


All the best


Dave

Dave

d3j452
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A few things I'd like to mention...

1) One of my tent mates got scratched on the coral. It became infected and nearly lost his left leg. Has to be 'living' coral. Nasty stuff.

2) One of my tent mates go caught by the undertow and was dorwned. We found him up th e coast a few days later and we all had to identify the body.. The coral and Hermit crabs had had go at him. He was buried at sea, per his parents wishes, with military honors..

3) Remember "Sea Soap"?

Brian
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Ref 2;  I think a few guys drowned before the helicopter service got established.  First one I remember was whilst I was on a five week posting to Malden Island.  I think he was a RAF Junior Tech. named 'Veck'.  The story went that he was eventually found by a Shackleton of Coastal Command surrounded by sharks who appeared to be circling rather than attacking.

Believe an Army bloke got the George medal in another incident for rescuing two out of three people who had got into difficulties.

Bri

Bob Morrison
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On my posting and joining the Sailing Club I heard a story of 2 lads who went off in a a dinghy to Cook Island where they were last seen alive. They never returned but the remains of the dinghy were washed ashore. An Inquiry found that coral had wedged the centreboard slot preventing the centreboard from being lowered and it was believed the dinghy was overwhelmed by the surf and both lads were lost. Tragic indeed.

Bob.

Brian
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Hi Bob;  I never heard about that, possibly it took place after my time there ( Dec '56 - Sept '57 ).  Regarding disappearences though there was one thing  that I've never verified as true or not. 

It was said that during the several days stay of Captain Cook's vessel, he lost two men who set out to explore the island and never returned.  I believe the theory was that since the island is honeycombed with sub-surface caverns with outlets to the ocean, they had reached a spot where the surface crust was very thin, fallen through and either got trapped down there or got swept out to sea.

One thing against that theory though ( assuming the story is true ) is that the island was searched extensively and there was no sign of any surface brealthrough.

Regards, Brian

 

Bri

Bob Morrison
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Hello Brian, I think I can help you regarding the '2 lost men'!
 
I have a copy of  'The Last Voyage' by Hammond Innes which he compiled from Captain Cooks' lost diary of his third and last voyage. This was found in the cellar of the old St James Club in London in the 1970s. It is a really good read and very informative of the way Cook was involved with his crew and his care for their health. By the way, his Sailing Master was Bligh, later Captain of the infamous Bounty.
 
I quote from Chapter 31 'An Island For Christmas':
 'On 24th December we sighted land and anchored in about 14 fathoms fine sand some half mile from the breakers. The next day being Christmas Day I named this island, Christmas Island as I had called the place where we spent Christmas last year in the Kerguelin Islands, Christmas Harbour. The men are in great spirits, there being no inhabitants here and no need for strict regulations.
 
From Chapter 32 'Fun and Stupidities Ashore':
He gives a fine description of the crew taking many fish and turtles to assist with their provisions. He describes the numerous sharks as 'voracious, and will bite anything that comes near, including oars and rudders!'  Then continues, ' It is very fortunate that we have not lost any men to these sharks, the biggest damage any has suffered being from the coral, the cuts being most difficult to heal' (No nukes in those days!)
We did nearly lose two men who were missing the last two days of December, one for 24 hours, the other for 40 hours. The former saved himself by killing and drinking the blood of a turtle which he also gave to his companion. His friend was too weak to walk so he wandered off and was finally found by one of the ships boats. A search party found the other  after walking a dozen or so miles across the island. This man was in great distress from heatstroke, lack of water and severe sunburns, though revived with some bread and weak grog.'
 
Cook went on to complain of the lack of common sense in these sailors as the masts of the ship were visible for many miles from the anchorage and he could not understand why they could get lost. Hence the 'stupidity' in the title of this chapter!

Brian
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That's very interesting Bob, another myth bites the dust!  I think it's extraordinary that these men could not locate the ship especially since the coconut palms were yet to be established.  Maybe the turtle noggings did more than just quench their thirst.

Another strange story I recall related to the 'target' island Malden,  It was said that when a group of engineers arrived to establish the camp, they found that the island's only vegetation was a single palm tree and one inhabitant , a wild pig.  Having spent five weeks down there though it's understandable why the pig would be in a bad mood.  The only thing of interest during that posting was the beer tent and gambling.  There was also a single track railway running around the island on which we would carry out time trials racing along on one of those pump handle bogies.  I think that was the major factor which prevented everyone from goimg nuts with boredom!  If the story is accurate, we can only imagine how the pig arrived.

 

 

Bri