Stranded diver shoots himself

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Thread: Stranded diver shoots himself

  1. #1
    Member Array nkanofolives's Avatar
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    Stranded diver shoots himself

    Stranded diver recounts 22-hour offshore ordeal : Martin County : TCPalm



    Stranded diver recounts 22-hour offshore ordeal
    Palm City man spends night in ocean after becoming separated from his boat

    By Megan V. Winslow (Contact)
    Wednesday, June 4, 2008
    Video
    Patrick Scatozzi, a Palm City resident, was lost and floating at sea for 22 hours before being rescued by the coast guard.

    PALM CITY Miles off shore and surrounded by a darkness that swallowed him whole in the breaking surf, Patrick Scartozzi fought exhaustion, bitter cold and the urge to peek at his watch.

    Back home, his wife lay awake in bed listening to the birds and frogs outside as she waited for dawn and feared facing their children once more.

    "I knew I was alive and floating, and I knew they didn't know," Scartozzi said Tuesday, four days after he disappeared off the St. Lucie Inlet during a commercial fishing dive. "I would have rather been in my position than to have been in their position, not knowing if I was stuck under a rock, dead."

    The 43-year-old Palm City resident and Fort Lauderdale firefighter spent 22 hours in the ocean, steadily kicking toward land with a bleeding, shattered hand before a Coast Guard helicopter found him almost a mile off shore Saturday. A licensed commercial diver, Scartozzi became separated from his boat during a trip to spear snapper and grouper.

    Scartozzi said he emerged early from a 95-foot deep reef dive to find himself about 75 yards away from his boat. A swarm of fishing boats had suddenly emerged on the reef and Scartozzi's friend and business partner, Clay Brandt, was trying to shoo them away so Scartozzi wouldn't get hurt.

    Scartozzi's head disappeared from sight in the rough waves, and he drifted away with the current. Before long, he began shedding his expensive dive gear, including a weight belt and a speargun. He kept his small dive scooter and steered it toward shore until the batteries died and then used it as a float.

    Hours passed and he watched the Coast Guard helicopter and planes buzz overhead.

    "I guess the desperation started when it started to get dark, about 8 o'clock at night," Scartozzi said. "I realized I would be spending a considerable amount of time out there."

    And then he shot himself.

    As a last-ditch effort to attract the Coast Guard helicopter, Scartozzi fired the .357 Magnum attachment from his speargun into the scooter and hoped someone would see the muzzle flash. Instead, the steel powerhead recoiled and pierced his right hand between two fingers.

    The noise was deafening but still not loud enough to hear above the helicopter's whirling propeller.

    Scartozzi yanked the powerhead from his knuckles, marveled at the hole it left behind and the blood that ran down his arm. And then he swam on.

    As the condominiums on Hutchinson Island grew larger, Scartozzi met curious dolphins and clouds of glowing plankton but never any sharks. He watched the sun rise on a cloudless, clear day. About 10 a.m., he saw the Coast Guard helicopter fly north up the beach, and this time, it stopped.

    A trip to the hospital and one hand surgery later, Scartozzi is recovering at home with his wife, Chris, and their three children, Patrick Jr., 16, Marisa, 12, and Julia, 7, by his side. He returns to firefighting on June 21, and despite his recent ordeal, diving is sure to follow.

    "He's never going to stop diving I know that," Chris Scartozzi said. "He's not done."

    I feel bad for the guy...but I am still failing to understand how he shot himself...I just do not get it...lol...

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    VIP Member Array Kerbouchard's Avatar
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    Sounds like a tough man...maybe not the best of shots, but a tough man. I wonder how many would have given up.

    And he didn't shoot himself, persay...he was hit by a ricochet.
    There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil.

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    VIP Member Array crzy4guns's Avatar
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    I can understand what he was trying to accomplish with the discharge of the powerhead. The muzzle flash might be seen by the rescue helicopter overhead against the dark ocean waves. I probably would have done the same thing myself having no flares on me.
    God bless our troops!

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    Senior Member Array Pete Zaria's Avatar
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    That guy had "somebody Up There" watching over him that night. Spending 22 hours afloat in the ocean with a bleeding hand and living to tell the tale is a pretty slim chance.

    Any bets on if he bought a lottery ticket on his way home from the hospital? I sure would.

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    Pete Zaria.
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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    That's one of those situations where you get hurt and think oh great I hope there ain't no sharks around
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

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    VIP Member Array paramedic70002's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nkanofolives View Post
    Miles off shore and surrounded by a darkness that swallowed him whole in the breaking surf, Patrick Scartozzi fought exhaustion, bitter cold and the urge to peek at his watch.


    Scartozzi said he emerged early from a 95-foot deep reef dive to find himself about 75 yards away from his boat. A swarm of fishing boats had suddenly emerged on the reef and Scartozzi's friend and business partner, Clay Brandt, was trying to shoo them away so Scartozzi wouldn't get hurt.

    And then he left him???

    Scartozzi's head disappeared from sight in the rough waves, and he drifted away with the current. Before long, he began shedding his expensive dive gear, including a weight belt and a speargun. He kept his small dive scooter and steered it toward shore until the batteries died and then used it as a float. The scooter couldn't go 75 yards???

    I thought surf was near the shore.
    "Each worker carried his sword strapped to his side." Nehemiah 4:18

    Guns Save Lives. Paramedics Save Lives. But...
    Paramedics With Guns Scare People!

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    VIP Member Array Kerbouchard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paramedic70002 View Post
    I thought surf was near the shore.
    Also defined as "the foam, splash, and sound of breaking waves", which would have been coming off the reef.

    What difference does it make?
    There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil.

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  9. #8
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Now you bring it up sounds kinda fishy,friend and business partner with partner gone business owner hmmm hey partner wanta go scuba diving i'll drive the boat for ya
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

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