While working in Hawaii, I was taught how to handle octopus, and encouraged to do so. I had done it easily 100 times before this incident, with zero aggression, and this one just didn't want to play and let me know by biting my left middle finger. Here are some pictures of my finger throughout the healing process. While I was laying in the emergency room waiting to be stitched up, I got a call from my former employer in which all he said to me was, "Bro, I'm fucking pissed. You're fired" and hung up on me. It took over 3 years to get a final verdict, which included me winning the initial hearing, him appealing it, and me having to fly all the way back out there for a 2nd hearing in front of the appeals board. I had no lawyer to help me through all of it, just my amazing mother. Feel free to ask me anything about the incident, the hearings, the rulings, and anything else!

Comments: 1870 • Responses: 100  • Date: 

Yamogi722 karma

Holy fuck octopuses are brutal. Or is that octopii?

Anyway, how does one "learn how to handle octopus"? What kind of stuff do you cover?

Edit: thank you all for the conflicting spelling/grammar lessons.

HunnaThaStunna520 karma

It's pretty easy in all honesty. They swim head first, so once you get one out of a hole, you hold your hand on the top of its head and it will swim into it. Eventually they tire out and realize you aren't trying to hurt/eat them, and chill out and become very inquisitive. I, along with many other instructors I worked with out there, have had one chill on my BCD for 30+ min throughout a dive, just checking out all the different textures and pieces of equipment. I was trained to not handle any marine life, but after customers started complaining and my tips/reviews went down (because every other instructor on the boat would handle them and let their customers as well), I gave in and decided to start doing it.

hanni90469 karma

does it hurt to be bitten by an octopus?

HunnaThaStunna745 karma

You would think it wouldn't but it does... a lot =/

MisterSquidz1542 karma

They don't think it be like it is, but it do.

HunnaThaStunna490 karma

True, True.

IrateMollusk172 karma

We bite hard, but in our defense, don't be fuckin' with the Mollusks!

HunnaThaStunna78 karma


ChrisCGray375 karma

No touche, that's how you got into this mess in the first place.

HunnaThaStunna69 karma

Haha, well played.

hanni9063 karma

from 1-10.

HunnaThaStunna302 karma

I'd say about a 9. The pain was a bitch to handle, but I was more worried about not going into shock. I had 3 non-certified divers and 2 certified ones with me at the time, and about a 15 minute swim back to the boat from where it happened. I was more worried about getting us all back safely than the pain. Once on the boat though, the actuality of my injury set in, and it hurt like a mothafucka.

hanni90118 karma

what is it about their bite causes the pain? do they inject some poison? is it their beak and teeth?

HunnaThaStunna458 karma

They have a very powerful, parrot-like beak that they use to break open the shells of their prey. It went all the way to the bone, severing 3 tendons, an artery, and doing about 50% nerve damage to my finger.

MinnesotaNiceGuy132 karma

Well, I used to have a medium sized parrot for a pet, and for fun he would crush walnuts, and old fashioned clothes pins. He got ahold of me a couple times, and I can say its near bonecrushing force. I'm sure if he got ahold of my pinky without any resistance, he could easily sever it.

HunnaThaStunna233 karma

I don't know how large of a parrot you had, but octopus break open lobster, crab, clam, conch, and many other shells to get to their food source. So ya, there is a lot of power behind those beaks, especially one as large as the one that destroyed my finger.

TastyBrainMeats10 karma

I would think it's something like being bitten by a venomous parrot.

HunnaThaStunna36 karma

Venomous, no. Parrot, yes, only that it's possible way more powerful.

OwenMerlock441 karma

What was the argument of your former employer?

HunnaThaStunna948 karma

He had a few that he tried to use. The first one was that I broke my contract by harassing marine life. The only problem with that, is that I learned how to handle an octopus by co-workers, was praised multiple times by him on getting pictures of customers holding one I had dug out, and that I had 150+ pictures of multiple of his employees doing the exact same thing that ranged from 6 months before my injury to almost 2 years after it.

He also tried claiming that I was a seaman and that the state of HI didn't have the right to rule on the case. However, by definition, a seaman is someone who is permanently assigned to a vessel, and whose job ensures the functionality of said vessel. We worked with multiple different boats, chartering seats on them, so I wasn't permanently assigned to one. I also didn't aid in the navigation or running of the boat. All I did was get my customers on/off it and take them diving once we reached our location.

Another was that he claimed that I wasn't an employee and that I wasn't entitled to worker's comp. It was proven multiple times that we had an employer-employee relationship, regardless of what the contract said. An independent contractor doesn't have set hours determined by the employer, which I did, and also doesn't have responsibilities such as I did like maintaining the company vehicle, building structures in the shop/painting various walls/floors of the shop, cleaning duties such as vacuuming and cleaning the bathroom, etc.

riograndekingtrude376 karma

The seaman argument is interesting, thats an admiralty case and jurisdiction would have been at the US district court in downtown hnl. Theres a lot to being a seaman, so no way that is working. People get all their panties in a bunch with what the contract says . . . the KEY is how it is performed. This always crushes independent contractor relationships and gets into the principal - employee arena. Just cuz you are called an indy, and get a 1099 . . . thats just a signal of a ploy to escape employer-employee relationship. Glad you got around without an attorney, workers comp can be tricky and is a niche even for attorneys.

HunnaThaStunna435 karma

Indeed it was tricky, and thanks! Gotta love what a good ol' Jewish mother will do to help out her son. It would have been way more difficult if she hadn't helped with everything.

johnbentley86 karma

I had dug out, and that I had 150+ pictures of multiple of his employees doing the exact same thing that ranged from 6 months before my injury to almost 2 years after it.

What was his motivation in firing you for handling sealife, when others are doing it? What difference does being attacked by the sealife make in his mind?

HunnaThaStunna276 karma

His only motivation was covering his own ass, since he had been operating for 4 1/2 years without any insurance what so ever. Those facts are what helped me win my case, in that none of the other people that had done/were doing what I did, were fired.

BolloxYerWanker43 karma

Do you have any chance of collecting the full amount awarded by the court, or is he going to be able to claim poverty and pay you a few $ a week, order declare bankruptcy? (I can't imagine that a business with no insurance is going to have hundreds of thousands of $ of assets to bleed)

HunnaThaStunna71 karma

Not sure, but he has assets... lots of them.

utspg198049 karma

how did you have photos from 2 years after it? Was one of his employees helping you out? Did they suffer any repercussions?

HunnaThaStunna178 karma

He was still posting them on all of their social media (facebook, their blog, and twitter). You would think that that being one of his reasons for firing me, he would tell people to stop posting them, but he didn't.

majinspy46 karma

I was a cab driver, and had my boss pull similar bullshit. She tried to make us contract employees, but treat us like regular ones. It didn't work for her in court either :)

HunnaThaStunna17 karma

Glad to hear it!

baddroid-5 karma

The first one was that I broke my contract by harassing marine life. ....

Actually all this is why you and your co-workers should have been sacked years ago. It is a breach of almost every ethic of diving and dealing with undersea wildlife that I've ever heard of in more than 20 years of diving. I also expect it is breach of whatever certifications, insurance, business permits and local laws that your cowboy outfit claimed to function under.

Please don't give me "that's what I was instructed" because I dont believe there's a single diving qualification in the world that doesn't stress this: you dont fuck with the wildlife.

HunnaThaStunna3 karma

True, and not true. It is completely different out in HI. EVERYONE, and I mean everyone, handles octopus out there. Doesn't matter if you're a local brotha, or someone working there. I agree that you shouldn't, but once my tips/reviews were being hit because everyone else I worked with was, I started to. It's not something I am proud of, but it was something I had to do to get by.

LesbianEskimoMidget392 karma

Can you give a play-by-play on the Octopus attack?

HunnaThaStunna636 karma

Certainly! I had 2 brothers that I had certified a week and a half before, along with their dad who was on leave from Iraq and an older couple, the last 3 of which were doing their discover scuba dive. We were heading back to the boat when the older brother got my attention and signaled he had found an octopus. So, thinking nothing of it, I swam over to him to get it out and play with, as I had done countless times before. Normally, they hide in holes and are a pain to get out. This one, however, was out on a small coral head, so I figured it would be really easy. It was MUCH bigger than anticipated though, and was way stronger that what I was ready for. 2 pumps through its siphons and it had drug my hands 5+ ft from where I had initially caught it, to a larger coral head, where it made its way under an over-hang. My left hand was on its head, while my right hand was wrapped up in tentacles. Once it got to the over-hang, it used some of its arms and pulled itself further in, at which point it turned and chomped on my left middle finger twice. The first one did the majority of the damage, the 2nd one lifted a smaller piece of skin up which you can see in the pictures. I had no vision of what was going on, but felt a very sudden, sharp pain, saw a big green cloud (red appears green at that depth), wrapped my right hand around my finger, signaled to my divers that the dive was over, and swam as fast as I could back to the boat without losing inexperienced divers along the way. Took about 12 minutes to make it back to the boat, another 10 to get onto the boat due to having no available hands for the ladder and having to deal with ~8ft swells, and another 15 or so before all the other groups were back on board. Then had a 10 or so min ride back to the harbor, where an ambulance was waiting for me.

Chompchompers313 karma

...... Blood looks green at that depth?... Wut? Why?

HunnaThaStunna1606 karma

Water is thicker than air, therefor light travels through it slower. The first colors you lose as you go down, are the reds, oranges, and yellows. It basically follows the ROYGBIV, in that the deeper you go, the more of those colors you lose. It's why the ocean appears to be a deep blue in open water.

assorted_elk757 karma

This is the most fascinating thing I have ever learned.

HunnaThaStunna435 karma

Glad to teach you something new!

Willy-FR48 karma

To add on this for those who don't go underwater often:
It happens extremely quickly too. Colours will already be funky after a couple metres. Which is why underwater photography requires the use of additional lighting (even if it's a bright day and you're not going deep) if you don't want completely washed-out shots.

So if you get an underwater camera, make sure it has a passable flash.

HunnaThaStunna42 karma

That, or a red lens filter to add red back into the photo. Good strobes definitely help though.

CochinBrahmaLover3 karma

Red Orange Yellow Green Blue I V ?

HunnaThaStunna11 karma

Indigo, Violet.

Alexifish94 karma

What happens, physically, when you're injured underwater? I picture someone gasping or even fainting due to being that far under and suddenly having a huge adrenaline/endorphin rush. Was that a problem for you during the bite and way back to the boat, or could you stay calm despite the pain?

HunnaThaStunna172 karma

It definitely is different than something like that happening on land. My main concern was getting myself and my 5 divers back to the boat safely, before going into shock. It was not a fun experience, but something that all of my years diving and all of my training played a part in to keep myself calm and level-headed.

autmnleighhh86 karma

This may be a really stupid question....no, it is. Did the salt water make it sting (if you were in salt water. I know nothing of marine life and it's habitats)? Did the initial pain make the salt water unnoticeable?

HunnaThaStunna100 karma

I'm sure it added to it, but that was the last thing on my mind. I just wanted to get myself and my 5 divers back to the boat before going into shock.

LesbianEskimoMidget80 karma

Wow, thanks. Do you harbor any ill will towards our Octopus brothers?

HunnaThaStunna194 karma

I do not. I love everything that has to do with the ocean and it's inhabitants. I just went back to my original training of look and don't touch after all of this happened, which is how it should be.

CochinBrahmaLover45 karma

What's your favorite species?

Awesome! It's truly how it should, as to not harass them or damage them. They can be so fragile.

HunnaThaStunna88 karma

Honestly hard to say. I do have a special place in my heart though for any type of nudibranch, lettuce-leaf sea slugs, juvenile spotted drums, and juvenile trunk fish (aka peas).

HunnaThaStunna76 karma

ISN'T IT?! They are so fuckin hard to spot, but if you find one, it makes the dive.

Baseplate206 karma

Have you eaten more than your share of his brethren to better soothe your pain and to teach his species as a whole a lesson on who is the real king of this planet?

HunnaThaStunna176 karma

Not really a fan of octopus. I do love calamari however, so close enough?

Baseplate472 karma

This isn't about taste this is about pride and proving a point.

Edit: Your gold gift was very nice. Thank you kind stranger.

HunnaThaStunna115 karma

Fair enough.

joshom145 karma

Do you know scuba Steve and/or any members of the scuba squad?

HunnaThaStunna102 karma

I do!

adventuregalley135 karma

Sounds like a lot of expenses traveling to and from court. Was a workers comp. payment really worth it?

HunnaThaStunna575 karma

I only flew out there once, for the hearing after he appealed the initial ruling. Total, I spent about $3k on the flight to/from there and a hotel/food, and about $500 on mailing all of my paperwork throughout the 3 year period. It wasn't about the money, but more about not letting him get away with what he did. He was operating for 4 1/2 years without any sort of insurance to cover any of his employees. He also contacted PADI and lied saying that I broke standards by taking DSD's to 60 ft (max depth is 40ft for them, which was as deep as I took them) and tried to have my teaching status revoked. Still not sure exactly what I will end up with in my pocket, but I do know he has ~$16k in fines, ~80k in my medical bills, however much he spent on his attorney throughout all of this, and whatever the board rules he owes me. I don't take getting fucked like that very well =/

TheRealGeorgeKaplan292 karma


HunnaThaStunna125 karma

I know, right? =/

swoofswoofles68 karma

Keep on fighting the good fight. Glad to hear you stuck it out.

HunnaThaStunna47 karma

Thanks, and I plan on doing so.

common_s3nse48 karma

Were you hired as a company employee or as an independent contractor?
That matters as a company employee then the employer has to pay for work injuries, but as an independent contractor you would need to get your own insurance.

Also, does the guy have enough money and assets to pay for all your bills and claims??

HunnaThaStunna149 karma

Technically as an independent contractor. However, the employer-employee relationship that was established after hiring made it so that the worker's comp board ruled me as an employee. And yes, he has plenty of assets to pay for everything.

nickolove11xk31 karma

Is it the really rich guy who seems to come off as an asshole? Drives a jet boat on Maui? Pretty sure he won a lotto somewhere.

HunnaThaStunna77 karma

He didn't. He got really lucky at a young age and got an amazing offer with a huge organization. I won't mention which, since I'm not trying to ruin his reputation/dive shop, and Oahu is a small island. But he was very well off, which is why he opened his own shop.

common_s3nse-18 karma

I just hope in the future when you take a job as an independent contractor that you get your own insurance.
You got lucky this time that the court is making your employer pay when you were a contractor.

Are you still an scuba instructor somewhere else or did you give that up after the accident?

HunnaThaStunna18 karma

I had my own insurance. Between my health insurance and DAN, my bills were covered, which is why it didn't make sense for him to fire me. I wouldn't have gone through with this entire ordeal if he didn't fire me and also lie to PADI saying I broke standards, trying to have my teaching status revoked. And yes, I'm currently working as an instructor on St. Thomas. I first got certified at 12, 15 years ago, and have been hooked since. Something like that would never deter me from my passion.

common_s3nse13 karma

Wow, what an ass to fire you then try to get your license revoked. I am glad you won your claim against such an ass.

How is living in St. Thomas? Do you make enough doing dive tours and instructing to live decently there?

I need to take some vacation time, how is the diving in St. Thomas?
Water temps, clarity of the water, and sea life?
I am an advanced open water diver, and the only warm places I dove was in Key Largo which was really neat.

HunnaThaStunna10 karma

I make enough to get by. I didn't go into the profession expecting to make bank. I do it because I love it. As long as I have enough to pay for rent, food, internet, and to party from time to time, I'm good.

Diving here isn't terrible. It also isn't the best ever. But you get everything else you get with Caribbean diving, from clear/calm water, water temp ranges from high 70s to mid 80s, and the majority of things you find through out the Caribbean in terms of life.

CaughtInTheNet2 karma

Just wondering how the court ordered him to pay your medical fees when your insurance would have covered it? Glad you taught him a lesson. He'll think twice next time before trying to screw someone over for no valid reason.

HunnaThaStunna1 karma

Since it was a work related injury, he is responsible for covering the costs of my medical bills. Since my 2 insurance companies covered it at the time, he will have to pay them back in full.

abHowitzer31 karma

How can a wound like that cost 80k in medical bills?!

HunnaThaStunna113 karma

There was the re-attaching of 3 tendons, an artery, and what nerves they could salvage. There was also ~8 months of physical therapy, many different braces, casts, and splints throughout the whole ordeal.

fishrfriendsnotfood8107 karma

Marine life can be pretty unpredictable so how can that be considered your fault? Especially if the company were the ones who trained you to handle them.

HunnaThaStunna251 karma

It was only my fault because he had been operating for 4 1/2 years without any sort of insurance whatsoever. He assumed by firing me I would just roll over and take it, which I didn't.

Oakroscoe56 karma

I understand your reticence in not naming your employer, but if you did you would be doing us all a favor. I wouldn't want to give my business to someone who treats their employee like that. And I really wouldn't want to patronize a business that doesn't have some sort of insurance in case I got injured.

HunnaThaStunna95 karma

Understandable. If anyone would really like to know, they can PM me. However, I do not want to publicly broadcast it.

slruupp103 karma

What kind of octopus was it?

HunnaThaStunna191 karma

My best guess is a common pacific octopus.

OwenMerlock84 karma

Can't believe it took 3 years! Your finger is fine now?

HunnaThaStunna206 karma

Fine to an extent. I am unable to fully straighten it, and only have ~50% feeling in it due to the nerve damage. I can however make a fist, and it doesn't really interfere with my job as a scuba instructor at all. It did however ruin competitive gaming for me =/

SleepDeprivedPegasus86 karma


HunnaThaStunna93 karma

Agreed. I had to leave Hawaii due to all of this. However, it did mean that I got to spend time with my friends and family back home, which was really nice.

nik881346 karma

Why did you have to leave? Was it because you became "that guy" even though it was unwarranted?

HunnaThaStunna145 karma

I had to leave because he claimed I wasn't an employee. I couldn't file for unemployment, and living in HI without a job is straight up impossible unless you are okay with being homeless.

nik881349 karma

Oh okay, financial reasons. That makes sense. Also, after reading the comments, you deserve appreciation for actually responding to the same questions (about the reasoning behind your firing). Thanks for the patience.

HunnaThaStunna70 karma

Np, I did this to answer questions, whether it be the same one over and over, or not.

AdumbroDeus35 karma

what game(s) did you play competitively?

HunnaThaStunna125 karma

World of Warcraft originally. Before I moved to Honduras, one of my best friends and I were #1 in the US for what we played (feral/priest) in s3 before any feral buffs. We also had the #1 feral/rogue/priest in the US. I moved to Honduras and had to stop, but then started again and played Moonkin at the top level. I had the #2 5s team on the most competitive BG at the time, and hit 2400 in 3s as feral/war/pali, 3 days before my finger got wtfpwned. I also had top 10 parses in the world, while being the mangle-bot for my GM. Was a lot of fun, but I quit WoW roughly 2 months before mists came out, even though I was playing 3s with top players in the world like Jahmilli and Maldiva.

sn3eky15 karma

That's awesome that you played Arena with people like Maldiva. Can you not push your middle finger down now? From your picture it looks like you just can't straighten it out, my middle finger is barely straightened out completely when I play arena. Do tell me more...

HunnaThaStunna34 karma

I can, it's just that the loss of feeling due to nerve damage, means that I don't always know exactly where it is while typing/gaming. So I have had to adjust to not using it all that much. And ya, playing arenas with some of the best people in the world was a ton of fun. Just sucked that none of them knew me because of my travels in the world and my random ass injury that stopped me from being on that level all the time.

ikahjalmr9 karma

How does being a scuba instructor go with an intense gaming life? I don't even game much nowadays, but its always interesting to see how different occupations can accommodate hobbies/passions

HunnaThaStunna15 karma

I was an avid gamer before I made the decision to follow my passion to become an instructor. Whenever I don't have the internet to allow competitive gaming, I still game to stay in touch with friends back home, either ones I know irl, or ones I have been gaming with for years, through whatever game. Whenever my internet allows me, I do my best to be as competitive as possible.

loafers_glory76 karma

IAmA Scuba Instructor who was wrongfully terminated after getting my finger bitten by an octopus during a dive, fought it, and after 3 years won the worker's comp case. AMA!

Do you mean you fought the termination or the octopus? If the octopus, what was that like?

HunnaThaStunna73 karma

The termination. Was not about to fight the octopus, after my finger was wtfpwned and I was bleeding like crazy. My only goal was to get myself, and my 5 divers (3 of which were not certified and on their discover scuba dive) back to the boat safely.

StaggerLee4774 karma

We're you worried the blood would attract something dangerous, like a shark, during your long swim back to the boat?

HunnaThaStunna131 karma

No, I was more worried about not going into shock, and getting all 5 of my divers (3 of which were on their discover scuba dive) along with myself back to the boat safely. Sharks are more afraid of us than we are of them, especially as scuba divers.

darthNinjabro44 karma

Even if there is blood about? That is fascinating.

HunnaThaStunna130 karma

Yes. Most sharks aren't monstrous 15+ footers. Most in the Caribbean are only 4-7 ft, and you have to look at it from their perspective. They don't know if you can injure them back, to the point where they would no longer be able to hunt and survive. Is the juice worth the squeeze?

CochinBrahmaLover42 karma

Is this because we're big, or because we're unfamiliar?

HunnaThaStunna152 karma

Both. Look at it this way. If you are ~6ft tall, and have 2ft fins on, you are now ~8ft long. Add in the BCD and a tank on your back, and you now have an extra foot of girth than before. Then add the wall of bubbles plus the sound open circuit scuba makes. They have no idea what we are, and what we are capable of.

CochinBrahmaLover55 karma

If you are ~6ft tall, and have 2ft fins on, you are now ~8ft long

I'm 5'1... I wish! lol.

Makes sense. I'd be intimidated too.

Have you ever had a scary interaction with a shark? What's the largest dude you've ever seen?

HunnaThaStunna86 karma

None what so ever. They literally have zero interest in scuba divers, and almost always swim away from us. The biggest one I've seen was probably a 14 or 16 foot nurse shark that was taking a nap in a cut in the reef while I was living on Roatan. I got within a foot of it and it gave zero fucks.

anyd41 karma

Hah I kicked a cleat on the boat one day, and while the cut was superficial, it bled like crazy. I didn't want to sit out the dive cause it was one of my only chances to see a shark on Cayman (they show up on the north side in the fall, but the weather is bad. You only to get to dive the north side 3 or 4 times during the fall.) It freaked my divers out when their bleeding DM led the dive specifically to see sharks.

HunnaThaStunna58 karma

The things we do to see sharks. I always tell my divers they will know if I see a shark, because I'll be banging the shit out of my tank, signal for a shark, and that I'll be chasing after it to try and give it a hug. The only ones we get here are 4-6ft nurse or black tips, so nothing super aggressive or anything to worry about.

Kourkis32 karma

they will know if I see a shark, because I'll be banging the shit out of my tank, signal for a shark, and that I'll be chasing after it to try and give it a hug

Diving with you must be a fun experience!

HunnaThaStunna46 karma

I do my best to make it one. There's nothing better than coming up after a dive, and hearing every single one of my divers talk about how amazing it was. It's the shit I live for, and do what I do.

Kourkis10 karma

It looks like you truly enjoy doing it, keep it up!

HunnaThaStunna24 karma

I do. Got certified at 12. Been diving 15+ years, and teaching for 4+. Even shitty days are still great, because I'm blowing bubbles.

anyd11 karma

Yea, we saw nurse sharks a couple times a week. The only proper shark I saw was a 7' reef shark diving Cayman's north wall from shore in REALLY bad conditions during my IDC. I rounded a corner of the wall at about 100', and it was like 60' away swimming towards me. It got one look at my bubbles and took off.

HunnaThaStunna25 karma

I got to do the shark dive while I was in Roatan. Had about 22-25 8-12 ft Caribbean Reef Sharks all around us. It was fucking amazing. I had been diving about 11 years at that point, and had never seen a shark. I was like a kid in a candy store. Here are a few pictures I took while on it. Was my first time using a camera, so they aren't they best, but they will do.

anyd9 karma

That's amazing! I actually got my C-Card when I was 12 with my dad, so I did quite a bit of diving before I did it for a living. I did Stewart Cove's shark dives a couple times, and did one off of Australia.

They're incredible creatures. The best way I can describe them to people who have never had the experience is that it's like being around 8-12' dogs. They don't want to hurt you, just don't pull on their tail.

HunnaThaStunna7 karma

Perfectly said.

kiapolo57 karma

Former Worker's Comp attorney in Hawaii. Hawaii has a very strong presumption of compensability for workers compensation claims (yay strong labor laws!).

Looks like permanent partial disability? Any chance they'll appeal from LIRAB? Get anything beside a monetary award/remedy?

Seriously, of all the places you could've received this type of craptastic injury, Hawaii is the place. Our workers comp law are very favorable to the claimants (claimant attorneys, not so much).

HunnaThaStunna41 karma

That's amazing you saw this. And ya, it looks like permanent partial disability. As for the appeal, I doubt it. He appealed the original ruling, which also ruled in my favor. I really hope he doesn't waste more time and more of his money on this, and just accepts it. I honestly don't care about the monetary award, it was more of making a point that he can't just fuck someone over like that and get away with it.

slruupp44 karma

What's the coolest thing you've seen while diving?

HunnaThaStunna65 karma

That's a tough one. I love swimming with sharks, and turtles, and rays, and all the other larger animals. However, I really enjoy finding the really hard to find smaller creatures like nudibranchs, frog fish, and peas (which are juvenile trunk fish that are literally the size of a pea).

bender4239 karma

I got my scuba certification about a year ago. Living in Michigan, have you ever dived in the Great Lakes?

HunnaThaStunna60 karma

I have not. If I need a wet suit, it is too cold for me. There's nothing like diving with boardies and a rash guard and only a few pounds of weight. The more neoprene you add, the more weight you need, which means you go through your tank faster. Cold water diving just isn't for me.

tsk059 karma

The more neoprene you add, the more weight you need, which means you go through your tank faster.

How's that follow? I get that if it follows it has to be connected to BCD inflation, but you're still only adding enough weight for correct buoyancy so I am not seeing it, please explain.

By the way, any suggestions against sea sickness on boats? Hard to dive out in the ocean for me, meclizine and scopolamine patches do not help.

HunnaThaStunna21 karma

The more weight you add to correct for buoyancy, the more weight you have to drag through the water. The more weight you have to drag through the water, the more oxygen your muscles will require to do so.

shocs33 karma

Was this a specific type of octopus or all octopuses bite?

HunnaThaStunna64 karma

I would say the majority of them. The only one I know of is the Blue-Ringed Octopus, that is toxic and can kill you within minutes. The rest are just way more powerful than you would ever expect, and have strong as fuck beaks, which they use to open the shells of their prey.

bluemud62 karma

They're basically a set of scissors surrounded by a mass of entangling muscle.

HunnaThaStunna14 karma

Indeed, they are.

elokr29 karma

He bit you, did you bite back? It's the only fair way to handle it.

HunnaThaStunna18 karma

Unfortunately, no.

hurdur129 karma

So from what I understand, you got bit for harassing a marine animal. For the octopuses, it sounds as if you actually reached into their dens to scare them out.

Even though your employer encouraged it and your employees did it as well, harassing marine life is extremely frowned upon in the diving community. Significant interactions with marine animals should only occur if the animal approaches the diver and even then, the diver should be passive (unless in danger).

As a diving instructor, how do you feel about interacting with marine wildlife and the permanent impact of human-animal interactions?

As well, because you actually reached into octopus dens and actively harassed them, do you think that any of the accident is partly your fault, as well as the dive ops?

HunnaThaStunna26 karma

To an extent, you are right. However, in HI things are a bit different. Most of the time, yes, I dug them out of whatever hole they were hiding in. However, I did not do so in a manner that harmed them in anyway. If I couldn't coax them out, then I left them be. Before I moved there, I never handled any marine life. However, my tips and reviews were suffering, due to my not digging them out, while every other instructor/DM was, so I gave in and learned how to do it. I'm not proud of it, but I did what I had to and was told to.

dailytentacle16 karma

What dive site did this happen at?

HunnaThaStunna18 karma

The Kewalo Pipe.

DoItForTheKidz15 karma

Will your finger always be that fucked up and curved?

HunnaThaStunna21 karma

Unfortunately, yes. There is nothing that I know of, that will fix it at this time. Maybe advances in the medical field can one day get it back to normal, but until then I just deal with it. It does make for a great opener when talking to ladies at the bar while wearing my splint though.

Klashus10 karma

Looked like you were bleeding were you worried about chumming the water on the way back to the boat?

HunnaThaStunna12 karma

A little, but not really. Sharks are more afraid of divers, than we are of them. You have to look at it this way: You have fins on which makes you ~2 ft longer, you also have all the gear and a tank on your back which makes you easily have an extra ft or so of girth, and you also have a giant wall of bubbles and all the sound open circuit scuba puts out. I was more worried about going into shock and not getting all of my divers back, especially the ones on their discover scuba dive, to the boat safely along with myself.

awesomeificationist9 karma

Do you still work as a diver? If not, what are you up to these days?

HunnaThaStunna20 karma

I do, I currently work for a dive shop on St. Thomas. I have been diving since I was 12 (15+ years) and teaching for 4+ years. Something like that will not ruin my passion of what I do.

TheOneAlex8 karma

Did you fight the octopus, or the lawsuit when you say you "fought it"?

HunnaThaStunna11 karma

The lawsuit. I wanted nothing to do with it after the shit happened. He was so set on getting away, he bit off the end of a few of his tentacles that were wrapped around my hand. Once I got to the boat, I had the end of 3 of them that I had to un-peel.

CanadianGun5 karma

Why was he so pissed that you got bitten by an octopus after he encouraged you to handle the octopi?

Follow up question to that, why was it an offense worth getting fired over? Accidents happen in the work place, sure I could see if you damaged some super expensive equipment or product of a company you work for.

But it's just you that got hurt right? That's bad sure, sucks that you got hurt, I just don't see why he'd fire you over that. Kind of like firing a cook for accidentally burning themselves, or firing a carpenter for accidentally hitting their thumb with a hammer. Just seems dumb...

HunnaThaStunna7 karma

He was operating 4 1/2 years without any sort of insurance what so ever. So I guess he was just trying to cover his ass, which didn't work out at all. He's a Kiwi, and has a hot temper, so a few days after it all happened I asked him if he still wanted to fire me. I could still have worked the store, done all the classroom stuff for courses, and helped people with gear, but he was set on firing me. At that point is when I pursued the worker's comp case. All of my medical bills were even covered by my personal insurance, and DAN (Diver's Alert Network), but he was set on firing me.

flyer7164 karma

Just outta curoisity, what did DAN pay for and I didn't know they paid for anything

HunnaThaStunna3 karma

They didn't pay for much, but they covered probably 1/5 to 1/4 of my bills, since it was a dive-related injury.

polarbeargarden3 karma

Earlier you said he paid something like $80k for your med bills, but now you're saying DAN took care of them all?

HunnaThaStunna5 karma

No. My personal health insurance and DAN covered all of my medical bills at the time. Now that I won the case, he will be responsible for paying both of them back in full.

jacobsnakeup5 karma

So what did you actually accomplish by winning?

HunnaThaStunna23 karma

What I accomplished was making him get insurance for all of his current and future employees. It also fined him for all of the time he was operating without any sort of insurance what so ever. Mainly, in my mind, was that it made sure he didn't try and fuck anyone else over in the future.

D4ND45 karma

Who represented you in court??? And on a scale of 1-10 how painful was the bite when it happened? (btw ur mother's da bomb)

HunnaThaStunna15 karma

For the actual hearing, I represented myself. My mother and I did all the work leading up to the actual hearing. I was not about to pay some random attorney in HI, while I was living in GA, to handle my case. And the fact that I represented myself, and handled everything on my own (including the help of my amazing mother) impressed the board members, which most likely helped my case. And yes, she is da bomb.

AaronUFOs4 karma

How has the injury affected your typing if at all?

HunnaThaStunna4 karma

It had a huge impact originally. I was unable to use my left middle finger for anything, whether it be gaming or typing, or anything else for that matter. The loss of feeling in it has had an impact, but I have re-taught myself how to use it. However, I still will type from time to time without using it, just depends on how much of a hurry I am in, or what I am doing at the time.

booboothechicken4 karma

Why did you feel you needed to fight the octopus?

HunnaThaStunna7 karma

I didn't, I just wanted to play with it =/

SGrocott3 karma

How much, if anything, did you receive by way of compensation?

HunnaThaStunna5 karma

Not sure on the exact numbers yet. I got the letter in the mail 2 weeks ago that I won the appeal. I do know that is something like 6 months of 1/2 pay, and 6 months of 3/4 pay. I could go for more, for slander and what not, since he tried to get my teaching status through PADI revoked by lying, but not sure if it is worth all the hassle again.

wavetoyou4 karma

At least you didn't have lawyer costs. Maybe get a couple free consultations with some "sharks," and gauge what you could get. If it amounts to an all-expenses eventually paid trip back to Hawaii, fuck it why not?

HunnaThaStunna3 karma

True, but I would never go back to Oahu. Partying in Waikiki and Honolulu was fun, but living there is a completely different story.

TrevorSP3 karma

So why exactly were you fired?

HunnaThaStunna4 karma

Mainly because he was operating for 4 1/2 years without insurance. So in his mind, firing me and hoping I would just take it, was the best way to handle it. He claimed that I broke my contract by handling wildlife, but that was dis-proven by my 150+ pictures of other employees doing the same thing I did, which ranged from 6 months before my injury, to almost 2 years after it.

BadgeBunnygirl2 karma

Did you cry at all from the pain?

HunnaThaStunna4 karma

Not gonna lie. While I was underwater and in the process of getting back onto the boat, no. Once I was on the boat, and realized the severity of everything, yes.

reximhotep2 karma

why on earth would he fire you so quickly? just a dick move or was he negligent and worried about something? cheers and congrats on sticking with it to the end.

HunnaThaStunna3 karma

He was operating for 4 1/2 years without any insurance. So I guess he figured the best way to handle it was to fire me and hope I just rolled over and took it. But I don't play that shit.

baddroid2 karma

I was taught how to handle octopus, and encouraged to do so.

You're supposed to be a scuba instructor, and yet you think this ok somehow?

HunnaThaStunna1 karma

No, I do not. However, when my tips/reviews took a hit, and people started complaining that I wasn't, because every other instructor/DM on the boat was, I gave in and learned how to. Everyone in HI does it. I don't pride myself on it, but I did what was asked of me.