Greg Robertson is treated by paramedics after a fishing spear pierced his groin. Michaela O'Neill/180206
Greg Robertson is treated by paramedics after a fishing spear pierced his groin. Michaela O'Neill/180206

Man spears himself

The man who spiked himself in the groin while spearfishing at Coolum will frame the 20cm piece of metal that was removed from him, as a memento of a New Year’s Day he will never forget.

Greg Robertson was discharged from Nambour General Hospital on Friday after surgery last Thursday night to remove the hand spear, which pierced the skin just one centimetre from his femoral artery.

“I do feel lucky because it is right next to all my genitals, and the main arteries in your leg where you can bleed to death instantly ... it’s right next to that too,” the 25-year-old cabinetmaker said.

“It did hurt, but I didn’t think about the pain. The audience gathering on the hill was more awful than the pain.

“I was fairly scared and worried about what I had done internally. I just wanted it out of me ... my mate was going to rip it out, but it would have done more damage.

“I now have five puncture wounds in that general area. And it’s very lucky that it hit me in one of the only places on my body where it didn’t do any damage and I’m able to smile and laugh about it.

“It could have been so much worse. It’s lucky it did what damage it did to me and it didn’t hurt anyone else.”

Mr Robertson fell on to the spear after it was washed out of his hands by a wave on the rocks at Point Perry about 3.30pm on New Year’s Day.

As crowds gathered at the Point Perry lookout during a rescue operation that took more than an hour, paramedics arrived, gave Mr Robertson painkillers and packed the spear so that it would not move.

The Energex Community Rescue Helicopter was called, but its crew could not find anywhere to land and eventually had to winch Mr Robertson aboard.

Casey Jensen, a friend of Mr Robertson’s, said: “A big wave knocked him into the rocks, he lost his spear and it rebounded off one of the rocks and got him.

“The spear’s barbed on the end, so it’s locked in there. He got up and said ‘It’s in me, it’s in me’,” Mr Jensen said.

Holidaymakers saw the accident and called triple 0.

In a bizarre moment amid all the drama, a man on the beach asked to have his photo taken with Mr Robertson.

“He was giving me a hand to take my flippers off and he had an underwater camera and he said, ‘If you don’t mind me asking, can I take a photo of you’, and I’ve still got this spear hanging out of me and we’re standing there smiling.

“I would love to know where that guy is so I could get a copy of that photo.”

Mr Robertson said the incident had not deterred him from trying spearfishing again.

“I would probably go back and do it again. I’m just not going to jump off the rocks holding a spear,” he said.

One of the surgeons who performed the operation, and did not wish to be named, said as long as Mr Robertson avoided infection in the wound, he would make a full recovery.

“Had it gone deeper, it could have divided the major nerves and arteries in the leg,” he said.

“He was very fortunate he didn’t do more damage.

“To remove it, we made a cut where barbs are, so it wasn’t catching, and then we pulled it out. It took about three minutes.”

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