# Tuesday, January 14, 2014
When traveling abroad on vacation the potential for some sort of accident or medical emergency does exist.

The obvious dangers that immediately come to mind are sudden illness, vehicle accidents and even airplane crashes.

However, there are also other dangers such as the following that are rather bizarre and unanticipated!

Cliff Accident

#1: Too Close to the Cliff Edge

In 2010 Doctor Gary Feldman went on a teaching trip to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. Dr. Feldman, a retired teacher from California, was on a cliff in a terraced valley taking pictures when he felt the call of nature.

He went to cliff’s edge to urinate and, unfortunately for him, seriously misjudged the condition of the rock. Feldman later recounted that “the edge of the cliff just gave way … it wasn’t solid.”

Dr. Feldman plunged 30 feet down onto another ledge that shattered one of his legs. As bad as this sounds it could have been worse: if he hadn’t landed on this ledge he would have fallen approximately 400 feet to the valley floor.

Getting the doctor off of the rock ledge was also a major issue. Eventually he was dragged off the cliff face by passing Vietnamese while he hung onto a lowered board for dear life!


#2: The Cinder, the Parasite and the Rat

American Earline Feldman and her husband booked a trip to the Caribbean island of Dutch St. Maarten in 2009.

Their vacation got off to a poor start when a small cinder was blown into Earline’s eye as she was getting off of the plane in St. Maarten. She waited until getting to the luxury motel room to wash out the cinder from her eye.

The next morning her eye was painful and swollen shut so Earldine sought medical attention. After being examined by a doctor she was shocked to find out that a small parasite was in her eye as a result of flushing with the hotel’s tap water.

Consequently Earldine wore an eye patch for the next two days and had to treat her eye with antibiotics.

The story does not end there however. On the third day of their vacation the couple decided to put on some coconut scented sun tanning lotion and go down to the nearby beach for some relaxing fun in the sun. All was well until their return to their hotel room.

After settling in both Earldine and her husband felt something touching their legs. Initially they thought that it was the other person. As it turns out it was actually a huge wharf rat that was doing the touching! Their reaction scared the wharf rat out of the bed and into their Jacuzzi bathroom. Her husband fetched some hotel personnel who, after disposing of the rat in a rather violent and bloody manner, told them the rat was probably attracted to the coconut scented oil and had entered their room via the balcony door!

Wedding Bouquet

#3: The Wedding Bouquet

In July of 2009 an Italian couple decided to spice up their wedding by throwing the bouquet out of a private aircraft they hired to a line of women standing below.

Things did not go as planned however. The new bride did get to throw the bouquet out of the plane. However, instead of falling to the intended recipients the bouquet was sucked into one of the plane’s engines, causing the engine to catch fire and then explode!

As a result the plane crashed into a hostel. Miraculously nobody was killed and only the bride suffered any injuries (e.g broken legs, and she did recover).

#4: The Sting of Losing Your Wallet

A British person was on holidays in the city of Natanya, Israel when he accidentally dropped his wallet down a drain.

As we all know, losing a wallet can be a real pain. This gentleman obviously felt the same way and was determined to get his wallet back.

He was able to reach down into the drain but unfortunately this space was also occupied by a scorpion. He was stung by the scorpion and ended up having to seek immediate medical attention. (Author’s note: we’re assuming he got his wallet back but were unable to confirm this).

Zodiac Accident

#5: Beware the Zodiac

A Canadian woman named Tannis Thompson went on a winter vacation with a friend to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Tannis booked a whale watching tour, and on January 12, 2012, they headed out to watch the whales in a zodiac (an inflatable boat).

Tannis was sitting at the front of the boat when it hit some rough water caused by another boat that had just crossed in front of them. As a result of the turbulence she fell, heard a crack, and then felt a pain in her back.

It turns out that Tannis had compressed and fractured one of her vertebrae. In addition a bone shard was poking into her spinal cord.

As a result of the accident Tannis had to undergo emergency medical treatment in Mexico that included calling in a spinal expert.

Fortunately Tannis had purchased travel insurance before heading out on her vacation. The approximate cost of the emergency treatments totaled approximately $200,000 that was covered by her travel insurance policy.

Paraglider Accident

#6: Paragliding: Keep your Toes In

18 year old Frankie Fuller was on vacation in Panama City, Panama, when he decided to help launch someone who was paragliding nearby.

Frankie recounts that he and his friends were pushing the paraglider when he fell backwards, at which point one of his feet came into contact with the propeller. All of his toes on that foot were immediately severed and Frankie remembers that there was no immediate pain, just surprise.

Local doctors were able to re-attach his big toe and the one next to it, but he did lose the other 3 toes. He was expected to make a full recovery and even be able to walk normally without any limp.


If traveling abroad please consider buying travel insurance. As this article demonstrates, accidents can and do happen.

Medical bills in other countries can run up to the millions of dollars, while at the same time travel insurance protection costs just a few dollars a day!

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