Vol 68, No 4 (2017)
Case report
Published online: 2017-12-22

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Pattern of lethal trauma among swimmers colliding with a personal watercraft

Bledar Xhemali1, Gentian Vyshka2, Admir Sinamati1, Elmas Shaqiri1
Pubmed: 29297568
IMH 2017;68(4):187-189.

Abstract

Personal watercrafts (otherwise known as Jet Skis or wave runners) possess powerful propelling engines that enable them to reach high velocities. In overcrowded sea shores, especially due to a diversity of human errors (inexperience, underage operator, alcohol-related errors and lack of training), these vessels might cause severe damage to the operator himself, to swimmers in the whereabouts but to the environment as well. We present three fatal victims that were struck and overrun by personal watercrafts used for recreational purposes. One of them had a deep skull trauma resulting from being hit by the hull of the vessel. The other two cases had an impressive and particular pattern of tissue trauma, with deep parallel cutting wounds due to the contact with the propeller helix. All cases were treated as accidental drowning, because even when rescue operations were immediate, the loss of conscience following the severe blunt trauma inside the water left few chances, if any, to survival.

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