I’m not an amateur. I’ve never had to call the RNLI in years and years and years of boating and working on boats – other than this time, and for it to be something so ridiculous is totally embarrassing.
As it happens I was working on my own boat on a Lymington River mooring, fitting a new heater inside the aft lazarette locker, port side. It is quite a contained space and I dropped a bolt, which naturally dropped all the way down and hit the hull. I leant in to retrieve it but my arm wasn't quite long enough. As I edged in a bit further I suddenly went in headfirst.
The locker is about the same size as me and I got jammed. My head struck the hull and my face was pressed against the bottom of the boat, it was horrendous.
It took me a few minutes to realise the seriousness of the situation. Clearly I tried to get out but with the shape of the hull, all slidey surfaces, there was nothing to push against.
I was in a lot of pain because I’d bashed the top of my head and my shoulder was trapped against some of the woodwork that supports the rudder. I was pretty much jammed.
I used to spend a fair amount of time working at heights. One of the main things I was taught was that if you fall and end up upside down, it’s far more serious than if you’re just dangling from a harness because all your vital organs start compressing your lungs, making it difficult to breathe – you cannot get enough oxygen around your body.
So I knew I wasn’t going to survive for long in my predicament. Thankfully my phone was in my pocket, but it wasn’t easy to get it out. I was terrified I’d end up dropping it and it slipping away out of arm’s reach.
You can read up to 3 premium stories before you subscribe to Magzter GOLD
Log in, if you are already a subscriber
Get unlimited access to thousands of curated premium stories, newspapers and 5,000+ magazines
READ THE ENTIRE ISSUE