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When Medical Treatment is Needed on a Fishing Trip

Jonathan Olch with an Indo-Pacific permit. Photo courtesy of Jonathan Olch.

When you’re on a fishing trip, knowing how to access emergency care is the last thing on your mind. During a recent trip from Oman to the Bahamas, Bonefish & Tarpon Trust member and advocate Jonathan Olch realized the importance of a travel protection services membership.

“I was traveling from the western U.S. to Oman to fish for the Southern Pompano (Trachinotus africanus). Upon departure, my health was less than optimal due to my unfortunate exposure to carbon monoxide poisoning, which in turn, triggered a bout of asthma. Nonetheless, I tried to put aside my discomfort and concentrate on my fishing,” said Olch, the author of the highly acclaimed book, A Passion For Permit.

From Oman, Olch immediately traveled to the Bahamas, where he met up with his catamaran, boat captain and some friends.

“The travel was grueling, exacerbated by a canceled flight and a stressful layover in Istanbul,” Olch said. “The respiratory illness I carried with me in Oman had not healed and I found myself wheezing and coughing constantly as we cruised around some of the Bahamian islands. At the end of one of the days, my energy waned badly.”

Olch then remembered he was a Global Rescue member.

“I asked my captain to call Global Rescue and seek some advice on my medical condition.”

Global Rescue immediately located a clinic at Deadman’s Cay.

“My captain persuaded me to get up out of bed and out of my stupor. We took the dingy on a wet ride across the bay and were met there by a cab driver,” Olch said.

After a thorough examination, he was placed under an oxygen mask and hooked up to an IV drip bag.

“That made me feel a lot better,” Olch said. “The physician was fabulous and called me the next day to make sure I was feeling better. I never expected to receive decent medical treatment at such a remote location as Deadman’s Cay.”

Across a 30-year period, Olch has chased or caught hundreds of Atlantic permit, along with several other prized Trachinotus species, in premier fishing destinations such as Belize, Florida, Cuba, the Bahamas, Mexico, Honduras, Seychelles, Australia, Oman, Turks & Caicos, Antigua, Guadeloupe, Venezuela and Panama.

“Global Rescue continued to monitor my health situation, offering suggestions and contacts until I made it back home to Utah,” Olch said. “Once home, I learned I had contracted a parasite with a case of pneumonia. Things would have been a lot worse had I continued to ignore my symptoms. I was grateful for the physician’s care and the professional assistance I received from Global Rescue. Traveling as extensively as I do, I certainly recognize the value in being a Global Rescue member.”

Global Rescue provides memberships to nonprofit organizations focused on research, education and conservation, including Bonefish & Tarpon Trust. While Bonefish & Tarpon Trust scientists are traveling across the globe to study bonefish, tarpon and permit habitats and fisheries, Global Rescue memberships offer:

  • Emergency assistance 24/7/365
  • Evacuation and advisory services
  • Worldwide field rescue
  • Detailed destination reports
  • Real-time event alerts

Learn more by clicking here.