Contributed by Tanya
I was set for Lady Elliot Island. I had just finished my Open Water Course and was ready to finally embark on my first diving holiday. My friend Megan had joined me as she had finished her course as well and we were lucky to get a great deal over Easter. Two novice divers heading for the Great Barrier Reef and boy were we excited. Luckily enough, we were welcomed by a NAUI dive group from Sydney who were also on a dive holiday and they looked after us on our dives.
This one particular dive was unbelievable. The visibility was so clear that you could see for over 20 meters. We saw some lovely manta rays, sting rays and reef sharks. I had just bought new scuba gear and it was working well. As we approached the surface, the dive unfortunately came to an end. Now came the cleaning up part. I was washing my feet with my dive boots on still, in the bucket and as I glanced down I saw a pool of blood had formed around me. There was a lot of blood and it was definitely coming from my boot. I took my boot off quickly and saw my foot completely red!
As I continued to wash my foot with a nearby hose, hoping that it would eventually clear, the blood just would not stop pouring out. The Dive Master soon saw me and took me straight to the medical centre. I was not sure what had happened and was starting to worry that maybe I had been stung or bitten by something. I lay down on the bed in the medical centre and a nurse started examining my foot.
After much discussion the medical staff came to a conclusion that I had been stung by a sea urchin, and were considering flying me by helicopter back to the main land. By now I was quite distressed. My foot had swollen up and I was sick with panic. I did not want to be flown off the island!!
Due to the fact that I did not suffer any major symptoms of a sea urchin attack, which is nausea, vomiting and dizziness, I was carried back to my cabin where my diving buddy (and close friend) decided to take photos of my foot. I amused myself by eating all my Easter eggs to try to take my mind off my foot. I ended up with an ice pack and lay on the bed for the rest of the afternoon.
Something just didn't quite feel right, I was sure that I wasn't stung or bitten by anything. As time passed by I saw my dive boot lying on the floor below my bed. It was at that moment that I saw a little pin prick in the side of my boot. Then something clicked!
My knife was strapped to my left leg, which was the same side of my injury. I jumped up and grabbed my knife from outside and saw that there was a tiny hole in its casing. Therefore the tragic sea urchin story was not true and I had simply just stabbed myself with my own knife!!! Of course it was quite embarrassing to tell the nurses back at the medical centre and for the next week of my stay on the island everyone knew the story of the novice diver who stabbed herself in the foot!!