A 'gun' underwater detecting set up

By Paul Davis

After years of drought, the heavens finally opened up causing flooding across much of eastern Australia. This created ideal breeding conditions for ducks and on the opening day of the season me and my son Tim, along with my friend Damien, his brother Peter and his father Gordon, were ready.

In the preceding week Damien's knee had gone on him and he was off work and on medication to reduce the swelling but that didn't stop him heading off early in the morning as he had a long paddle in his sneak boat and wanted to get his decoys set.

The opening was good and the ducks stayed and I achieved my bag limit very early but I noted that Damien, Gordon and Peter had remained in the one spot for a long time. Not being able to see what they were doing I guessed they were simply having a chat and a bite to eat.

After a few hours they returned and Tim asked Damien "How many did you get?"

"None," said Damien but the look on his face said a lot more. Something must have gone seriously wrong because Damien was a good shot and there were lots of ducks, so after a couple of minutes I went over to him and asked what had happened.

He told me that as he was putting the decoys out his knee locked up and the pain made him jerk. That jerk sent his unloaded gun to the bottom of the lake and he, Peter and Gordon had spent the rest of the time poking around on the bottom with their paddles trying to locate the gun. Damien had also stripped off and dived to the bottom but could only last a few seconds there before he had to surface for air.

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