JET SKI CHAMP COULD TAKE OVER FROM CAPTAIN RISKY
A MAJOR Australian insurance company recently made a series of commercials around an accident prone thrill-seeker they called Captain Risky.
If they had done an investigation into the life of Inverloch’s jet ski champion, Joel Barry, they could have saved themselves the trouble of inventing him.
Joel is the real life Captain Risky and could easily have played the part.
Just over a week ago he again put his life on hold when a jet ski crashed down on his face while he was practising in wild surf off Inverloch.
He was preparing for the second round of the world Freestyle Jetski championships to be held in Mexico.
The accident saw him flown by rescue helicopter to the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne for emergency treatment.
Fortunately scans revealed he had not suffered any life-threatening injuries, although his face was badly lacerated.
That put him into an operating theatre once again where a plastic surgeon repaired the damage.
His mother, Debbie, took her son’s latest mishap in her stride, obviously relieved that he had survived the incident, but not at all surprised that he had hurt himself once again.
“He has been breaking bones and injuring himself since he was a child,” she said.
“I remember once when he broke both his arms and while they were in plaster casts I had to feed him his dinner with a spoon.”
Joel’s trail of self destruction started when he was just a toddler, flying down a steep driveway on his trike and smashing into the tow ball on the back of the family car.
He still sports the scars from the 16 stitches he received.
Joel followed that up with another accident a few years later, requiring another visit to the hospital and more stitches to the face.
Then there was the broken ankle as a teenager and to top it all off, before he was 21 he broke both his arms in a motocross smash.
His latest accident is by far his most serious and he’s fully aware just how close he came to losing his life.
“I was only wearing a mountain bike cycle helmet and it’s not supposed to cope with a 150kg jet ski crashing down on it at speed. Thankfully it did,” he said.
One of the first things Joel did after being released from hospital, besides go immediately back to work, was to contact Bell Helmets and discuss what he should be wearing.
They were impressed by Joel’s tenacity and are now sponsoring him with new stronger helmets.
“If I did learn a lesson from what happened the other day it’s the need to at least take the best safety precautions,” he said.
Joel has been cleared to compete in the second round of the World Freestyle Jet Ski titles in Mexico at the end of the month, but he has been told he can’t go back into the water for at least three weeks because of the 100 or so stitches he required.
That means he won’t be able to practice before he fires up his jet ski in Ixtapa, Mexico on June 29.
Getting back on the horse so soon doesn’t faze the local thrill seeker.
Although his girlfriend, Abbey, isn’t happy at the moment, but that’s life with Captain Risky.
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