Flesh eating bacteria

This AM after spending a night in the rain in an isolated anchorage between Myrtle Beach and Charleston we attempted to weigh anchor. The wind was 20kts with a 2 kt current in the opposite direction. The anchor rode instead of being in front of the boat, went under between the 2 hulls. We hard an awful time trying to raise it. At one point I grabbed the chain with my hand at the bow roller. I couldn’t hold it and in the process of trying to release it my hand was trapped between the deck and the chain. It felt like my fingers had been crushed. My first thought was that I had lost my fingers and wouldn’t be able to use my computer (my favorite activity). I soon realized my fingers were intact but the flesh was missing over 3 of the digits. There was blood all over the foredeck and some dripped all the way over the side deck into the cockpit in my rush to get inside and dress my wounds.

It took us an hour but we finally got the anchor up. My thoughts then went to the memory of a friend in Stuart, a retired physician, who was fishing in the ICW near Stuart. He cut the skin on his hand and within 2 hours was deathly ill. He went to the ER and told them he thought he had flesh-eating bacteria, and this was confirmed. This is a serious illness that can lead to death with 24-48 hours. I worried that if this happened to me I would be nowhere near medical care, and we didn’t have any antibiotics in our first aid kit (it wouldn’t have mattered as this infection needs to be treated with high dose IV antibiotics).

I sweated for the next few hours. I’m still here so I guess I didn’t get it <g>. I’m still a little concerned that my wounds might become infected, but at least I’d have some time to find medical care.

We expect to reach Port Royal inlet tomorrow and sail on the outside to St. Mary’s GA. That’s just a couple of days (and night) from Fort Pierce. Almost home.


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2 Responses to Flesh eating bacteria

  1. Eileen Bishop says:

    That sounds like a pretty serious injury. We have a few friends who were injured in the same manner. Glad there was a doctor onboard! Fair winds and be safe out there.

  2. Marshall says:

    When I received the title in my email notice I thought I was going to read a funny Halloween tale, not a horror story!

    Hope everything is OK and the rest of your trip home is uneventful!


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