Monday, September 15, 2008

Good reason to break your own tibia and fibula

67_Mark_pushing_through_the_second_weir.jpgImage by Hutt Valley Canoe Club via Flickr Not quite eating your friends or companions, but breaking your own leg twice to avoid drowning does give an insight into the will to live.

A kayaker rescued from a gorge along the remote West Kiewa River in north-east Victoria this morning was forced to break his own leg in order to free himself from the freezing and rising water.

The 38-year-old was close to drowning after he became trapped under a tree. In an act of self-preservation, he wrenched his leg from under the tree, breaking both bones in his lower leg in the process.

I used to kayak down some pretty scary rivers, sometimes for fun, sometimes competitively in Scotland. I have had many long swims in freezing water and lots of bumps and bruises, but nothing as dramatic as this. My friend once got stuck in a gabion weir and had to risk capsizing to get out of that situation. The power of water once you get jammed up against a downstream obstacle is scary.

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