burned

Chuuk Travel Blog

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Now when you are on a dive boat and either the crew or guides says something about a dive site or part of the boat they mean it. So we were going to be diving on a wreak that had not had very many dive because it has avaitation fuel in 55 gal drums in its hold. Now the crew specifically instructed us not to decend into the hold because there is still fuel in there that has leaked out of the 55 gal drums. Now they did say that if you went in above the hatch you proably wouldn't be exposed and if you stayed in the bottom part of the hold you probably wouldn't be exposed, but if you moved towards the top away from the hatch you could be burned. Now let me state that I did not go into the hold. Another reason they said to now go into the hold is because there is nothing in it but 55 gal drums.  So off we go to explore the wreak. As I was checking out the bow I say a member of our group going into the hold, which we were specifially told not to probably 5 times. I didn't think much of it because that person is not that bright and tends to do dumb things. Now we come to the ironic part of the story. since he went into the hold but did stay on the buttom part he didn't get exposed to the fuel. What did happen is that the bubbles from his exhaust displaced the fuel floating at the top part of the hold thus stirring it up. Well guess who happens to be in the wrong spot at the wrong time. Me.  A bubble of fuel leaked from the ship and must have brused up on my stomach. Now you cannot see these bubbles so there is no way to avoid them. As I start swimming back to the dive boat I feel something on the left side of my stomach. I touch it and it feels weird. I thought at first I might have cut myself on a sharp piece of metal and was bleeding but of course I couldn't see any blood. As I continued to swim it started to burn. I knew instanly what had happened. Now I wasn't that far from the boat but because we are doing such deep dives I had a 20min decompression stop. I can tell you that haning at 20 feet for 20 min while your skin is burning isn't very fun. I get up on the dive deck and one of the crew notices the burn marks and gets me some soap and a towel to was any left over fuel on my skin. I had a very good burn on the side of my stomach, under my arm and on my left sholder. Lets just say it made sleeping difficult. However, it never did stop me from diving. It was just pain after all. The only way I did sleep was because of the lack a medical facilities in the area I had a perscription of vicaden and one of those a night let me sleep like a baby.
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Chuuk
photo by: kchrist454