- Jul 2, 2014
- Surrey, ND
A swordfish impaled a Hawaiian fisherman after having been speared by the fisherman itself, state officials said on Saturday.
Police named the victim as 47-year-old Randy Llanes, saying he had grabbed his speargun and jumped into Honokohau harbor on Friday morning when he spotted a broadbill swordfish near his boat.
Llanes speared the fish, but as it struggled to escape the spear’s line got tangled in a mooring anchor. Caught on the anchor, the fish swam back around toward Llanes at a high speed and struck him in the chest with its 3ft bill.
Although Llanes was quickly pulled from the water and emergency personnel arrived minutes later, CPR attempts proved unable to revive him, according to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. Shortly afterward Llanes was pronounced dead at the hospital, where a large crowd of people gathered to pay their condolences.
A Hawaii native, Llanes had worked for more than 18 years as captain for a charter fishing business, and had more than 25 years of experience fishing in the archipelago’s waters.
“Hawaii is one of those rare places where sea monsters still exist and world records can still be broken,” he wrote on his company’s website. “My greatest pleasure is being able to share the excitement and natural wonder of the Hawaiian offshore fishing experience with others.”
He was described by family members as an intimidating but generous man.
“He was a tough guy, he was such a tough guy that everyone’s scared of him, the whole harbor’s scared of him,” Kalina Llanes, the man’s sister-in-law, told KITV news.
She added that those who knew him well were “not scared of him because he has such a big heart”.
Llanes’ friend Dale Leverone told Khon the fiserhman was “just a great local boy. A good attitude, good person, a help-anybody kind of guy. He had a heck of a lot of friends.”
Leverone described him as an “accomplished fisherman”, saying “he actually caught a 500-pound marlin yesterday out of his skiff.”
State officials also pulled the 6ft, 40lb fish from the water. Largely an open-ocean species, swordfish rarely swim in shallow waters.
County police and conservation officials said they are investigating the incident, and said that while such accidents are rare, swordfish and other large billfish are aggressive and fast animals who have injured and killed humans before.
In 2004, a Malaysian man out fishing was killed by a swordfish when the animal leapt from the water and delivered a fatal blow to the chest. A year earlier, a researcher studying whales in the water survived a marlin’s lancing off the coast of Maui after the fish veered into him to escape its predators.