Speargun accidents watch where you point it!

  • spearfishing-accident_zps0bf371a9.jpg

    From Mate's spear pierces diver's chest

    A DIVER has told how he cheated death after a fishing spear pierced his chest just centimetres from his heart.

    Brett Clarke, 39, was swimming off Cape Schanck, southeast of Melbourne, when a mate accidentally shot him on Sunday.

    The experienced spearfisherman yesterday told how he feared for his life after the metre-long spear from his friend Jim Bigness' gun slammed into his chest, puncturing his left lung.

    "As I was lying there I thought of my wife and two boys," Mr Clarke said. "I thought, is this it, am I going to die here?"

    He said he did not realise he had been shot until he saw the stainless-steel spear sticking out of his chest.

    "We were swimming in a single file formation through these rockpools when I felt this large smack on my back," he said. "I put my hand down and felt the spear beside me. The pain was excruciating."

    Mr Clarke attempted to swim back to the shore.

    "We got washed on to a rock shelf and when we were washing back the spear caught on the rocks and went in further. I started to get pins and needles and I kept trying not to blackout because there was still a lot of work to do to get me back in to shore.

    "I forced myself to stay awake and calmed myself down and concentrated on my breathing."

    He was flown to hospital where firefighters cut off the shaft before doctors successfully removed the barb.

    "I spoke with him (Mr Bigness) this morning and I said it was a bad accident," Mr Clarke said. "I've only got one rule . . . from now on when we go diving together he's at one end of the beach and I'm at the other.

    From Speargun Accident:

    Darren Zimmerman, NSRI Simons Town station commander, said: “At 08h15 on Sunday the 25th of August NSRI Simons Town duty crew were activated following reports of 38 year old Willie van Wyk, from Hout Bay, who had a speargun’s spear through his right upper leg at Boytjies Drift, near Buffels Bay, Cape Point.

    “Willie was sitting on rocks, preparing to get into the water to go spear fishing early this morning when a wave washed over him, causing him to be dragged over rocks by the force of the water. In the process he fell on the spear from his own spear gun and it went through his leg.

    “There were fears that the spear may have penetrated or severed his femoral artery and an urgent medical rescue response was activated.

    “Our Simons Town volunteers responded in our sea rescue vehicle and CMR (Cape Medical Response) ambulance, the WC Government Health EMS and the Red Cross AMS Skymed helicopter responded.

    “On arrival on-scene he was found with the spear straight through his upper right leg. It was protruding out of both sides of his leg. Fortunately the spear had missed his femoral artery.

    “Paramedics stabilized him before bolt cutters were used to shorten the spear (He would not have been able to be loaded into either an ambulance or into the helicopter if the spear was not shortened on each side).

    “The spear gun was not loaded and the injury was caused when Willie fell onto the spear when a wave knocked him off the ledge he was sitting on. It appears that the spear gun was wedged in a crack and Willie fell on it.

    “He was airlifted by Skymed to hospital in a stable condition where doctors will surgically remove the spear from his leg. He is expected to make a full recovery.”



    This is an old one, if I remember right a diver from Hawaii who's dive partner shot him in the butt with a polespear prong.


    From Gruesome speargun accident today w/ pics


    was releasing my bands and pulled my hand across the shark fin tab on the shaft and tore the top of my hand wide open. Bones revealed, torn tendon was hanging out of my hand!!



  • Good thing his buddy was anti-mechanical safety type and kept his finger on the trigger.

    Got to be ready for that quick shot to get that fish. Eye roll....

  • :crazy: These reports are not a good advertising for buddy system. I almost got shot in the leg by some yahoo back in the 90's in Vava'u.

  • I have posted about this on other threads, and on other sites, but I regularly see videos, including instructional videos, showing a muzzle hold with loaded guns. Regardless of the reasoning, the muzzle of a loaded speargun should never be pointed at the diver: this is asking for trouble.

  • Technically not an accident but interesting nevertheless. From Frontiers | Penetrating Brain Injury after Suicide Attempt with Speargun: Case Study and Review of Literature | Neurotrauma

    A 55-year-old Caucasian man with a history of depression and recently attempted suicide attempted suicide again using a fishing harpoon gun. The patient called Emergency Medical Services, but did not speak at approximately 10:00, presumably shortly after the event occurred. EMS reported to his home where they found him unresponsive with a three-foot fishing spear through his lower jaw/throat area and head, noting it to be an apparently self-inflicted injury. He was transported to a lower-level trauma center, where he was orally intubated after rapid evaluation. He was then transferred to our level-one trauma center where his surgical planning and procedure took place...
    ...on hospital day 23, based on the family’s interpretation of the patient’s wishes, and after approval from the hospital ethics committee, the patient’s code status was made DNR/DNI and eventually transitioned to comfort measures only. He remained stable over the coming days with resolving fevers and oxygenating well on room air. Eventually, he was discharged to hospice care at the request of his family, where without tube-feeds and other medical support, he passed away 33 days after the initial suicide attempt.

  • Jesus!


    UUUUHHHHHH.... Nope!!

    On a serious note... its always sad to see someone lose to depression. No one should ever have to feel like they need to end their own life.

    On a lighter note.. maybe a jbl wasnt the best choice to get the stone shot.

    Reddit has ruined me.

    Divers.....dive with a buddy. More divers die from blackout than from getting shot.
    Divers.....choose a good buddy, who isnt an idiot who points their gun everywhere
    Divers.....dont be the guy who does this ^^^^^

    No speargun is completely safe.

  • Ok, you Americans have some really manly ways to deal with depression! :D

    Around here pills are the treatment of choice for both ailments

    What?! You can get pills for being an American?
    Or did I read this wrong - did you mean, pills for being a man...?:@

  • ;-)

    True, I mean, it's sad how much stigma there still is when it comes to depression (and deep depression can be a suicide trigger) or other illnesses of the mind.

    No one would think twice about cancer treatment, or popping pills for strep throat but there are still way too many people who think that taking meds for depression is for "the weak" and they should just learn to deal with life...

    I am beginning to think that depressions are a fact of life, as . Very few people go through life without taking some hard hits and sometimes that can lead to depression. And if it is debilitating of putting your life or relationship at risk, then why not take all the help you can get? Sometimes that means anti-depressives and that should be cool.

    Back home, in Denmark, where I am from, there's been a bit of a movement in recent years - to try to make people finally respect that mental illnesses are just that - illnesses that can often be treated and that stigma has no place in this.

    But for the guy in this tragic story - it seems like he was out of options, he had tried before and his family decided he should be allowed to go. Must be the hardest thing making that decision.

    Peace and love, guys and hope the upcoming holidays will treat you all well.

  • I dont have pictures, but i heard two great stories from a local scuba dive charter captain;

    1st - 2 scuba divers on a wreck. One shoots an amberjack and swims over to show it to his scuba buddy.
    He is holding it out horizontally in front of him and is swimming towards his buddy On seeing the fish his buddy shoots it and impales it to the other guys hand.

    2nd - Scuba couple spearing lionfish, and putting them in one of those plastic bucket things. The lady spears one with a 3 prong and stabs her companion in the leg while trying to put it in the bucket.

    The boat operator said no more sharp things on any charters. Just picking up shells, sand dollars, taking pictures and crap.

  • There's this video on youtube of, I think, commercial (?) divers shooting AJs with bangsticks/powerheads (or whatvever those cartridge loaded spears are called). Dude just sits on the edge of a wreck blowing bubbles and blowing up AJs. Shitty viz too, if I recall correctly.

    Not sure, it is fair to link those two stories but I wouldn't put it beyond an eager diver in shitty viz to fire towards an AJ and not looking behind it to see the buddy.

    I've spear/freedived with some local dudes in Thailand where I was afraid to turn the corner on a boulder in shitty viz cuz the guys behaved in the water like strung out tuk tuk drivers in Bangkok traffic.
    (That said, I have also dived with a lot of other cool and amazing local spearos).

    PS. For the before mentioned video, if the dude really is a commercial fisherman, I guess powerheads beat seine purse nets or all the other indiscriminate fishing methods.

  • But shooting the AJ story sounds a little far fetched. How stupid do you have to be to not notice the strange position of the fish, never mind not see a diver with tank.

    Yes i agree, and this story has been retold by many people that visit that shop. There are porbably other factrors thay played into the guy winding up with a spear in his hand. Maybe he is using these stories to not allow spearfishing from his vessel.

    Anyway he told it to me and a couple of colleagues from work, and we have had tons of laughs from it.


  • I would believe it possible. Maybe this particular story has other motives, but stupid is really common out there.

    (e.g. True Story from back in the 80's , One of my high school buddies was out hunting deer. He was walking back across the mesa to his truck, some f%$^ing idiot with a rife had a bead on him. He was waving his arms back and forth and wearing a flaming Orange vest and Orange Hat. The guy dropped the rifle down once he was in shouting range from my friend. This idiot claimed he thought he was a deer, as he received a verbal beating )

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member to leave a comment.