As a pilot you will spend hours waiting for passengers. The same is true when flying helicopters in the gulf of Mexico. Sometimes in the summer to break the boredom and the heat, I would take a pair of swimming shorts with me to swim off the platform while the maintenance crews worked .
One summer’s day I decided not to take a swim but to do a bit if fishing, looking forward to hooking a mackerel or some sea bass for dinner that night. There was a ski rope that had three large hooks on it so I used some of my lunch to catch some smaller fish that I would use as bait for the larger fish. Once I had done so, I was ready to go for the gold. As a good fisherman I put two small sized bait on two of the hooks and one larger piece of bait on the third to insure a catch on one or two hooks to lure in a larger fish like a Mackerel to take the bait of the third.
As I monitoring the fishing line I felt the first catch of the day. I did not pull up the ski rope in hopes the struggling fish would attract other fish to the line. As I watched the line it suddenly became taught. I thought to my self, “Michael you have a nice Mackerel on the line time to reel him in.”
I reached up to pull the line up, but when I reached through the hand rails to pull up the ski rope it would not move. My efforts were not moving the line. Then I decided to put my feet on the lowest hand rail and then pull the rope with all my strength. With my feet on the railing and pulling with all my strength, soon the line moved once again throwing me to the hard metal grating floor of the platform. The ski rope was now hanging from the hand rail. I thought that the fish must have gotten away. I grabbed the rope again and started to pull it in when a large hammer head shark broke the surface of the water and then dived back toward the bottom on the ocean. This time when the ski rope went taught it then bent the hand rail, followed by the ski rope snapping a few feet from the bent handrail.
Needless to say after that I gave up fishing and swimming off of any offshore platform.
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