A young man who participated in a mock medieval battle in Australia has been rushed to hospital after he received an axe-blow to the head, which sliced through his helmet and caused severe lacerations. The battle was organized as part of the Winterfest Sydney Medieval Fair.
ABC News reports that Mitch Toohey, a 21-year-old man from Victoria, was participating in a medieval battle re-enactment at the Hawkesbury showground in New South Wales, when an axe struck his helmet. He suffered concussion and a fractured skull and was flown to Westmead Hospital by a CareFlight rescue helicopter.
The mock battle turned violent when Mitch was sparring with an opponent and a third person ran across the field and forcefully struck him on the head with an axe. He was repeatedly struck until a referee stepped in and broke up the fight, realizing that Mitch had been injured.
A genuine axe had gone through the helmet he was wearing,” said David Wheeldon, Media and Communications Manager for CareFlight [via SBS]. “These had been forged quite professionally.
Although regulations are put in place to minimize injuries, such as weapons and armor standards and referees to monitor the battles, the re-enactments do involve full contact and therefore there are inherent risks in the activity.