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Funny but true (honest)


Setting the scene. It was 1982 1st April 1200, off the coast of Cromer Norfolk. I was serving onboard HMS Enterprise an inshore survey boat (yeah I know the "White Navy"!)

Ok it's 1200 and I've just come out of the radio shack after setting up the radio's for the up-coming exercise we are to do with the RAF Air Sea Rescue helicopter. I'm coming down the ladder into the forward mess, back to the ladder, which was custom and practice, bringing down a relatively thin plywood hatch (to stop the waves coming in!!) down, when all of a sudden the ship rolls, the ship rolls one way me the other and down bringing the hatch down on my hand. On landing on the deck, then the hatch cover on my head, I feel a pain in my right hand and immediatley go to feel it with my other hand, feeling around with my fingers, i can feel moisture. Now knowing it was neither raining or a wave had come in over me I knew something was most definitely wrong! Turning my hand over and looking at it I can see a little blood and plenty of bone. My first reaction was gosh that smarts a little (ok, ok I screamed!). This brought "Scouse" off his pit to see what the fuss was about. He takes one look at my hand and goes immediately into highly trained medic mode and makes for the one "head" we have.
Oh dear the doors locked !
"Who's in there?" screams scouse. "
A voice from the other side comes back "Paddy".
"Paddy open the door"
"F*ck off" is the response.
"Paddy, Sparks had seriously hurt his hand pass me a bog roll"
"F*ck off" he replies once more.
"Paddy if you don't open this door now, I'm gonna break it down!"
Paddy "F*ck off, I'm having a w*nk."
The Bosun is then called to attend the scene, (he's actually the named and trained medic for the boat. Alledgedly!!!) Bosun comes down into the Messdeck. By this time I'm laying down on the nearest "pit" Good old RN Training kicks in and the Bosun goes to work. He reaches for the bottle of Iodine to pour over the wound, takes the top off warning me this may hurt a bit! but I feel nothing, I look over to see why....He can't bare to look at the injury so is missing my hand!!! Like an idiot I directed his and over mine and he was right it did sting just a tad (ok it stung like hell!!!!!).
The skipper sends down a message saying that they have decided to wait til 1300 as the helicopter was due to come out then anyway!!!! (cheers mate!!!)
Said Helicopter is duly approaching the pre arranged location when they are informed that there is actually a real casualty now. The man comes down on the wire and takes a look at the injury, tells me that I have to get into a bright orange once only suit before they can lift me off. He tells me this will take time so is it O.K. if they do a couple of practise runs first? I'm strangely not in the mood to argue. Whilst I'm dressing and they are doing their practise bit there's a snag. For those of you that haven't come across them a once only suit is a watertight suit that you have to wear in certain circumstances to keep you dry should you fall into the water. Back to the snag, they can't get the elasticated cuff over my injured hand without one or two ow's from me, so what do they do? That's right cut off the elasticated bit and use good old "black maskers" to seal it up!
It's my turn to be rescued so we are given the order to go to the forecastle, we get there only to be told "the wind's picked up and there's not enough room, go to the Quaterdeck. Being a good sailor I do as I'm told and go aft.
Two minutes after arriving aft I see the helicopter getting further away!! Then comes a shout from the bridge "the helicopter's winch is f**ked, they have gone to get a new one!!!!"
Eventually they come back, I'm airlifted off, stitched up, sent back to Pembroke then QMH Woolwich to be "fixed."
The final part of my rehabilitation was to be sent to Joint Services Medical Rehabilitaion Unit at Chessington to get my hand back up to strength. In the main this goes well. Then one day the man in charge of our class who was a big (and I mean big!) black as coal RAF Staff Sergeant says it's time for our BFT.
I don't understand why, but there are groans from within the ranks and then they all fall out to get ready for this BFT. Then me as the solitary "Jack" in the squad goes up to man mountain and says "scuse me sarge (I understand they call them that) but what's a BFT?
He replies (and I'm used to this reply by now!) F*ck off
"Seriously Sarge this BFT, what exactly is it?
"You know, your Battle Fitness Test, now stop taking the p*ss and go get ready."
"Scuse my ignorance sarge but Battle Fitness Test? what's that then?"
"P*ss off now I know you're taking the P*ss"
"Nope sorry sarge but I haven't a clue what you want me to get ready for. What exactly do you have to do?"
(Quizzical look) "You know, run so many miles as a squad in so many minutes, get back and do it all again individually in even less time"
"Sorry Sarge me NAVY, we don't do owt silly like that!"
"So you're telling me you don't have a basic fitness test in the RN?
"No Sarge"
"What do you do?"
"Well sarge, if we're sick we see the Doc, if not we don't!"
"So there's no standard of fitness in the RN then?"
"No Sarge"
"Why not?"
"Well Sarge, picture the scene, you're in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean on a type 21 Frigate, and a F*cking great Exocet missile is heading your way"
RAF Sarge "Yeah"
"How far you gonna run?!!!!!!
"Good point, you'd best go lay on your pit and wait for the rest to get back then hadn't you"
"Now that sarge IS the RN's BFT!!!!!!!!

I promise you this is a true story (I have have the scar to prove it). Anyone else got a dit to share??
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