Worst accident you had while digging?

Jim

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I've been pretty fortunate in avoiding any major injuries while digging. A few minor finger and knuckle cuts are all I can recall. My digging partners have not always been so lucky. One of my buddies was digging in a dump with me and slashed his arm to the bone on a busted whiskey fifth. He ended up with stitches, but was more upset about having to quit digging early [:D]

Another time, I was digging a dump on a high creek bank. The guy I was digging with had a cavernous hole going, with brick and rock rubble hanging over his head. I had no sooner suggested to him that he might want to clean out the overhang when he caught a falling brick right on the temple of his head [&:] It nearly knocked him unconscious, and he almost went for an unexpected swim in a cold creek. ~Jim
 

mctaggart67

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Haven't dug in years, but sure did get the typical nicks, cuts, scrapes and muscle pulls. The worst, however, came during an afternoon's dig in the old town dump at Petrolia, Ontario. I had a deep pit going -- was hitting blob sodas and earlier drugstores -- and I was about a foot below the water table and near dump's bottom. I sunk my shovel in, worked it around to pry up the dirt as gently as possible, when this oily-gassy substance started leaking out of the ground and pooling on top of the water at the bottom of my hole. As you might guess with a name like Petrolia, I was in historic oil drilling and refining territory. I know the oily-gassy substance wasn't gasoline, so my best guess is that it was benzene or something similar. It constricted my lungs a bit, but the most severe effect was to my eyes. Initially, they got itchy, then watery, then swollen to the point where I could barely see. My saving grace was that I had brought a fresh jug of water to drink from. Naturally, I doused my eyes with that water after climb-crawling out of the hole. Once my vision got better, I could see vapours coming out of my dig pit. Needless to say, that was it for the day.
 

mtfdfire22

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In the last 2 1/2 months I have had five stitches in one finger (thanks to a ketchup bottle) and removal of a foreign object from my cornea.

The five stitches in my thumb were from a clear bottle which was close to the top of the privy. Figuring it was a nothing bottle but still curious i grabbed the base of it and was wiggling it out of the wall. When it started to come free i twisted it and the base fell off and my hand was still twisting. Not good. lanced my thumb open in about the middle of the pad. Deep.

This past weekend we were pick axing through about 7 inches of frost and something big hit me in the eye but fell out. That was around 10 A.M. Went home to celebrate my mothers birthday with the family and at around 6 P.M. it felt like a scratch. Couldn't sleep all night. Went into work and decided it was time to get to the doctor who promptly numbed my eye and dug something out. Relief.....until the numbing wore away.

now i have added thicker gloves and safety glasses (when pick axing) to my arsenal. approx. $1100.00 applied to my insurance deductible and not a single good bottle recovered. thanks again favorite hobby.
 

frozenmonkeyface

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Great story about the shovel! Sounds like something that would happen to me! haha

OR I would fall into the hole. I have not had my first real dig yet, just poked around my mom's property. I am so accident prone its not funny... [:)]
 

blobbottlebob

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Thanks frozenmonkey. Be careful out there when you do dig. Lots of shards in them privies.
 

RIBottleguy

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I have been pretty lucky! I remember slicing my fingers once or twice as a kid thanks to gloves with holes. It didn't happen again until I was salt marsh/river digging. The water softened the gloves and more slicing occurred.
I've broke a few bottles while digging. Nothing rare, but a few nice pharmacy bottles. They were in a hard-packed dump layer and when you swipe at it with a heavy rake it doesn't have mercy on the glass.
 

southern Maine diver

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While diving for bottles, I've seen some "out of air" situations, but recently, a freind of mine was diving for bottles and found an unexploded Civil War "Parrot" cannon round in about 25' of water. He had to call the Coast Guard, harbor master, state police, local police, US Navy shipyard, Marine patrol, bomb squad, Maine and NH archeologists... it was a nightmare for him! It had been underwater for more than 150 years and was a "Civil war" artifact. In the end, the state ended up detonating the warhead because they were unable to preserve it. Oh well...
 

toddrandolph

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I've had my share of minor cuts, scrapes, bruises. A few years ago I was walking a fencerow and found numerous bottles and small dumps along the way, finding a few common bottles to keep. I got back into a swampy woods about a mile off the road and spotted a huge 1950s dump full of metal and bottles. i wasn't watching where I was stepping and felt something go through my boot and into my foot. Uh oh. I knew exactly what it was before I even looked down: a rusted through T post that left a sharp point a few inches above the ground. Luckily, it didn't go too far into my foot, but it was still quite painful. I dig and explore alone, and i think it makes me a bit more careful because I know that whatever situation I get myself into, I have to get myself out of it as well.
 

rmckin

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My tale is not about digging, but getting to one of my dig sites....Back last fall, I was out digging ginseng, and although I had a good morning, it was getting tiresome.... There was an old farm place on the ridge above the hollow that I was in , and I thought I would go and look for bottles to kill the afternoon. Working my way around the hillside, there was a hickory log in my pathway. It was too low to the ground to climb over, so I stepped up on the log........Yep......the bark broke free from the log, and my feet went straight into the air, and I landed squarely back onto the log, across the lower part of my back, and then rolled onto the ground. It knocked me totally Stupid!!!!!!! The pain was unreal, and I laid perfectly still for maybe 10 minutes. All this time I was thinking, "I'm alone, hurt seriously, and probably paralyzed"...... Then I realized that I could move my feet....... Relief!!!!!! I waited for maybe another 10 minutes, and got up the nerve to sit up. I was sore.....but ok.
I thought it best to cancel my excursion, and get home......I was sore for about 3 weeks........

Lesson Learned for me......
Ron
 

bottlecrazy

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Hi all. Back in 1974, when I was just a wee lad, I fell on a broken bottle and gashed my knee. Fortunately, my dad was a doctor, and he stitched me up himself.

Even worse, we had a cave-in at that same dump that almost killed my dad's digging partner. He was underground for some minutes, and only survived because he had the presence of mind not to struggle. He was blue when my dad finally dug him out. I remember during the drive home, an hour or so after the incident, the digging partner broke down crying - that left a lifelong impression on me, and an abiding respect for the danger of cave-ins.

Be careful out there!

Andy
 

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