The very SICK Crew member
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In early July 2000 we were taking a 42' Hatteras Sport fisherman from Portland to Puget Sound. We crossed the Columbia River Bar about 0530, right after daybreak about the middle of the flood. The bar was quite calm and we cut the north side, going out in 30 foot of water across Peacock Spit. About 6 hours later, we started encountering lumpy seas somewhere above Grays Harbor and my 15 year old nephew came to the fly bridge and announced that he did not feel well.

Instantly I told him to get off the bridge and the next instant he barfed all over the fly bridge. Needless to say he was quite sick and wanted to die as we were 2 hours from any place to land. He offered me a check for 100 dollars to kill him, but I declined. The check might have bounced. I should have killed him for the mess on the bridge.

I proceeded to try my method. 1/2 tablet of chewable Dramamine, chewed but not swallowed, dissolved until gone. He barfed and probably did not absorb it. He is particularly susceptible and I made a mistake by not having him take the Meclizine 2 hours before departing. I had him chew a chewable Meclizine and dissolve it in the mouth. He barfed that up and may not have absorbed much of it. I then tried another 1/2 chewable Dramamine.

When administering additional doses where the victim may not have absorbed the drug it takes some careful calculating to decide how much more to give. This last tablet got absorbed and I waited 1 hour and had him take another 1/2 chewable Dramamine, dissolved in the mouth. 2 hours later I had him take 1 whole chewable Meclizine, chewed and swallowed. Within an hour of first getting sick he announced that he wanted to live and retracted his $100 offer.

He spent about 30 minutes feeling pretty bad; things kept getting better. In less that 2 hours I had him back on the wheel, dodging logs.

I had a fellow get seasick on the 750 mile leg from Tahiti to the Marqueses. Because he did not eat or drink for 3 days and would not take my advise, he could have gone into shock and might have died on us. It was my fault for not being more forceful. When you are the ship's doctor, everybody does what they are told. Keeping healthy is a shared obligation of everyone.

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