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blackrose

Injuring oneself single handing

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I pulled a muscle in my calf yesterday while going through a lock. I stupidly decided to run around the lock to close the gate on the other side as some kids were fishing on the lock landing where I'd left the boat after exiting the lock. They shouldn't have been fishing there but they were friendly and I wanted to give them their swim back asap. 

 

I guess I must be getting too old to start running on cold unstretched legs. I hobbled back to the boat and carefully made it through the next two locks and got to a 48 hour mooring by which time my leg had completely siezed up. I'm ok now as I can just rest and take some ibuprofen and I've got plenty of food (and booze!) I might have to call the EA on Monday morning and tell them I'm going to have to overstay if I don't feel confident about getting back to my mooring. Taking a big boat through locks single handed on a river is pushing oneself anyway without adding a disability and I suddenly felt quite vulnerable yesterday with a 29 tonne liability.

 

It's the first time this sort of thing has happened to me while moving the boat. Just wondered if other single handers had ever injured themselves while out on the move? I guess the same issue may arise for couples if one usually works the locks and isn't confident in steering the boat and the steerer injures themselves or gets ill.

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Having fallen in at Cropredy in 1994, in the dark, single handing, and broken my shoulder blade, yes.

One becomes more careful and thoughtful around the danger areas such as locks, or when mooring.

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1 minute ago, Stilllearning said:

Having fallen in at Cropredy in 1994, in the dark, single handing, and broken my shoulder blade, yes.

One becomes more careful and thoughtful around the danger areas such as locks, or when mooring.

 

Sounds nasty. How did you manage to secure the boat or were you already moored?

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1 minute ago, Stilllearning said:

Having fallen in at Cropredy in 1994, in the dark, single handing, and broken my shoulder blade, yes.

One becomes more careful and thoughtful around the danger areas such as locks, or when mooring.

 

14 minutes ago, blackrose said:

I pulled a muscle in my calf yesterday while going through a lock. I stupidly decided to run around the lock to close the gate on the other side as some kids were fishing on the lock landing where I'd left the boat after exiting the lock. They shouldn't have been fishing there but they were friendly and I wanted to give them their swim back asap. 

 

I guess I must be getting too old to start running on cold unstretched legs. I hobbled back to the boat and carefully made it through the next two locks and got to a 48 hour mooring by which time my leg had completely siezed up. I'm ok now as I can just rest and take some ibuprofen and I've got plenty of food (and booze!) I might have to call the EA on Monday morning and tell them I'm going to have to overstay if I don't feel confident about getting back to my mooring. Taking a big boat through locks single handed on a river is pushing oneself anyway without adding a disability and I suddenly felt quite vulnerable yesterday with a 29 tonne liability.

 

It's the first time this sort of thing has happened to me while moving the boat. Just wondered if other single handers had ever injured themselves while out on the move? I guess the same issue may arise for couples if one usually works the locks and isn't confident in steering the boat and the steerer injures themselves or gets ill.

I can really sympathise and let's hope you return to normal very quickly.

 

Most of our boating is as a couple and we try to make it a rule never to run on lock sides unless there is a real emergency, although there are occasions, I must admit, where we forget and have to remind each other! It is a good habit to get into and your accident just shows that even the most experienced boater is vulnerable at times , and especially so when single handed.

 

Howard

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A friend of mine was told by an EA employee on the Thames that he shouldn't be boating single handed and it wasn't a safe think to do, he asked the EA gent his boating experience and the answer was zero.  

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6 minutes ago, blackrose said:

 

Sounds nasty. How did you manage to secure the boat or were you already moored?

I was mooring as it happened. It’s amazing what you can do, one handed to get oneself out of the canal. Being in shock did help, and an elderly couple out for an evening stroll tied the boat up for me and walked me to the pub where a lovely couple took me to A&E at Banbury.

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Well I'm usually pretty good at moving on my own but of course the limitations only become apparent when something goes wrong. But that could equally apply to couples if they don't both steer and in some ways the more crew you have the more chance there is of someone injuring themselves. 

 

Coming through those last two locks yesterday was difficult. As my boat is 12ft wide I usually use the boat to cross the lock as a shortcut (you can't walk across the top gates on the Nene) but yesterday I had to hobble all the way around the locks as I wasn't confident about hoping on and off the boat.

Edited by blackrose

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Way back in 1975 I went boating in my 16ft cruiser with a broken right arm strapped to my chest............

All went well until, whilst pushing on a gate rail to shut the bottom gate, I slipped and went down between the gate and the lock recess, managed to hold onto the rail with my good arm but hung there for a while before managing to persuade passers by to haul me out.

Being only 23 at the time I felt invincible so carried on. It did mean the arm took longer to heal than expected 

Now I struggle to lift a beer glass let alone my own weight.

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When we got our first boat, not many moons ago, (18 years) and never really being the nimble type, I was quite confident getting on and off the boat using the roof if required. I had confidence in my restricted abilities.

 

About two years ago, whilst on the K&A, there was an occasion when I would be on my own as the boss had to go away to be with her very poorly brother in Wales. I initially said I could carry on cruising single handed, indeed looked forward to the experience. Then I sat down and had a think. The conclusion was that, oh no! You won’t. The thoughts of injury, falling in, getting into difficulties in locks etc. frightened the life out of me. Following the committee meeting it was decided I’d stay put in Kintbury for the duration. CRT were informed and that’s where I stayed for a prolonged period. Brother in Law sadly passed on and my wife assisted in funeral arrangements etc.

Those that can and do cruise single handed have my respect and in some cases admiration. And so they should. 
 

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44 minutes ago, Stilllearning said:

Having fallen in at Cropredy in 1994, in the dark, single handing, and broken my shoulder blade, yes.

One becomes more careful and thoughtful around the danger areas such as locks, or when mooring.

what - 26 years ago, and you're still learning even now !? 

 

sounds nasty; that kind of experience sobers you up.

 

 

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One should only stop learning the day one dies. Unless one is a truly smug idiot. :)

It was very nasty, it was most fortunate that somehow my head missed the piling as I fell in sort of feet first, flat on my back.

 

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I was always a very confident swimmer. In a February some years ago, I, or someone, decided I ought to take a dip innNantwich. We were mooring and I must have reached too far to hook the rope over the t stud. In I went. I was surprised that I panicked and was hopelessly useless at getting my self out. My wife with two nice chaps walking by fished me out. Not a thing I look forward to repeating.   

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1 hour ago, blackrose said:

I pulled a muscle in my calf yesterday while going through a lock. I stupidly decided to run around the lock to close the gate on the other side as some kids were fishing on the lock landing where I'd left the boat after exiting the lock. They shouldn't have been fishing there but they were friendly and I wanted to give them their swim back asap. 

 

I guess I must be getting too old to start running on cold unstretched legs. I hobbled back to the boat and carefully made it through the next two locks and got to a 48 hour mooring by which time my leg had completely siezed up. I'm ok now as I can just rest and take some ibuprofen and I've got plenty of food (and booze!) I might have to call the EA on Monday morning and tell them I'm going to have to overstay if I don't feel confident about getting back to my mooring. Taking a big boat through locks single handed on a river is pushing oneself anyway without adding a disability and I suddenly felt quite vulnerable yesterday with a 29 tonne liability.

 

It's the first time this sort of thing has happened to me while moving the boat. Just wondered if other single handers had ever injured themselves while out on the move? I guess the same issue may arise for couples if one usually works the locks and isn't confident in steering the boat and the steerer injures themselves or gets ill.

I pulled a muscle in my back some years ago on the Thames somewhere below Oxford. Moored at the end of the lock landing and just about hobbled to the lock  to enquire about possible moorings beyond. The lockkeeper took one look at me, realized I was in severe pain and told me to drop back as far as I could and stay there overnight. She followed me back to the boat and insisted in moving it back herself. With permission I stayed there a couple of days with frequent checks to see how I was and whether I needed food etc. I was really impressed and very grateful.

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2 minutes ago, Nightwatch said:

I was always a very confident swimmer. In a February some years ago, I, or someone, decided I ought to take a dip innNantwich. We were mooring and I must have reached too far to hook the rope over the t stud. In I went. I was surprised that I panicked and was hopelessly useless at getting my self out. My wife with two nice chaps walking by fished me out. Not a thing I look forward to repeating.   

Some years ago I walked off the pontoon in Falmouth harbor into about 20 feet of water. (10am and cold sober). It took 4 people to heave me out. As I went down I distinctly remember thinking "**** I might drown" . 

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It's called getting old 🙁 when we moved aboard in our 30s we would hop off onto the bank etc etc, now we'll into our 60s there is no hopping as the knees simply don't allow for it lol. 

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I don't recommend breaking one ankle and seriously bruising the other on the third lock of a flight of 21, when you are accompanied only by your wife and a 10 week old baby, in the middle of the first week of a three week hire boat holiday....

 

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Diana slipped of the fordeck while securing the front rope in the pouring rain in September 2018 and her knee still plays up.

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Slips are the cause of most boat injuries I think. I'm always dubious when I see people painting their roof in a gloss or satin finish and I don't like the style of painting narrowboat gunwales with a cm of gloss paint on the very edge - right where you need good grip to avoid slipping off. Gloss and satin paints are fine when it's dry but treacherous in the wet. I know a lot of people say they never go on the roof but you never know and for single-handers the roof is unavoidable. Anyway, in an emergency situation if one does need to get onto the roof for some reason, then slipping and falling is the last thing one would want. 

 

The other thing I don't like are cleats or other deck fittings mounted on silly places where someone can trip over them. It's fine to say "but I know it's there" the trouble is other people may not and if someone else has to move your boat to safety for some reason (if you become incapable) then they don't want to trip on an inappropriately positioned deck fitting that they didn't see.

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I did two discs in my back thirty years ago on the Bosley flight, rushing to get the boat through as people were waiting. It's given me hell ever since - taught me to take it slow. And if folk are waiting, and don't come and help, then let 'em wait.  It's always when you're trying to be nice that you hurt yourself.

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I've torn my calf couple times. It's horrible. Nothing to do with boating. It takes ages to heal. 

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14 hours ago, blackrose said:

Slips are the cause of most boat injuries I think.

The closest I've come to a serious accident was slipping on a lock side. The boat was in reverse in the lock mouth as I closed the top gate, rather than taking a large step on to the stern I walked across the gate to get on the boat from the other side of the lock, as I stepped off the gate on to lock side my foot slipped on the greasy stone and I fell and somehow managed to stop myself falling in behind the boat.  I no longer leave the boat in gear when closing gates, instead I take a line with me to stop the boat drifting off.

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21 hours ago, mrsmelly said:

It's called getting old 🙁 when we moved aboard in our 30s we would hop off onto the bank etc etc, now we'll into our 60s there is no hopping as the knees simply don't allow for it lol. 

Arthur Bray managed a bit of hopping on and off well into later years.   Have Humans stopped evolving in recent years - or are we just more sensible?

Brays.JPG

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They were far fitter than we are now, especialy as they worked hard unlike us lot who just think we did. We are also more risk averse today thats for sure. proper leap of faith that one lol.

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