Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Take a break . . . . .this is not about cancer !

A 30 year old man was rushed to the hospital with a chest injury. He was swimming in the sea near Perhentian Island at about 9.30 pm one night. Suddenly he was hit on the chest by a sharp object; and he found a long 'ikan todak' stuck to his chest. He was rushed to a nearby district hospital where he was noted to have pneumothorax (paru-paru bocor) and a chest tube was inserted. He was then transferred to me for further management.

In this era of digital technology, the culprit was easily captured; of course, on camera.

This is it . . . . .



Needlefish or Swordfish or Garfish


Tylosurus Crocodilus

To the contrary of the famous Malay epic; Temasik Dilanggar Todak (heronya budak botak bernama Hang Nadim), ikan todak is usually not dangerous

As their name suggests, needlefish are long, narrow and silvery. The smaller common species reach about 15 inches long; the larger ones can grow to more than 3 feet. In all species, the fishes' needlelike beaks, filled with sharp teeth, merge with their bodies to form sleek, living spears.

Needlefish have two long jaws, good for catching fish. A needlefish strikes at passing prey with a sideways movement of the head, then swallows it whole.

Like their other close relatives, the flyingfish (malolo), needlefish can leap from the water at up to 38 miles an hour, skimming the surface before falling back to the water. This is where needlefish and people can clash.

At night, lights sometimes attract and excite these fish, causing them to jump at speed. Needlefish beaks have penetrated the wooden hulls of outrigger canoes.

Tragically, one also penetrated the eye of a 10-year-old Kauai boy while he was night fishing in a small boat with his father. The fish beak penetrated the boy's brain, killing him.

In other parts of the Pacific, needlefish have punctured people in the chest, abdomen, arms, legs, head and neck.

People at greatest risk of needlefish punctures are night reef fishermen carrying lights in low boats. For many village fishermen in the Pacific, needlefish are a greater occupational hazard than sharks.

Although it's rare, swimmers and divers have been seriously injured by needlefish in Japan, New Zealand and the Red Sea.

No such injuries have been reported in Hawaii, but it's a possibility. To prevent such an incident, night divers should leave lights off until well submerged. Fishermen in small boats should be aware of the potential danger of carrying lights at night.

Millions of people, including me, have snorkeled near, dived around and paddled into schools of needlefish countless times without any trouble at all.

These lovely, interesting fish aren't out to get you and injuries are indeed rare.

Still, it's good to know the facts. Now, when someone asks me if those skinny, silvery fish can hurt you, I won't say never. I'll say, almost never.

Jadi, sekiranya anda atau seseorang dilanggar todak, ia bukanlah satu serangan tapi satu kemalangan.


Jika sekiranya anda atau seseorang dilanggar kereta, ia bukanlah satu kemalangan tapi satu kecelakaan.

. . . . . fikir fikirkanlah !

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