A 54-year-old fisherman was rescued from the Pacific ocean when a 230-pound Ahi tuna nearly drowned him after it capsized his 14-foot boat, reports KTLA 5 News.
Anthony Wichman of Koloa, Hawaii was fishing 10 miles southwest of Port Allen on the island of Kauai Friday morning when he hooked the big fish. The tuna put up quite a fight and ended up capsizing the boat and leaving Wichman clinging on for his life. The fisherman managed to call his daughter, Anuhea Wichman, on his cell phone who alerted the Coast Guard.
“He gaffed it once in the back, and the second gaffe went straight into the fish’s eye and that caused the fish to take a final dive,” Anuhea said. “And he dove straight down, and the line wrapped around my dad’s ankle and pulled him overboard.”
The Coast Guard was able to get in touch with Wichman and zeroed in on his cell phone to rescue him. The fisherman walked away with only a few bruises and a rope burn.
When two of Wichman’s friends returned later that day to help salvage the boat, they discovered the tuna was still hooked on to the fishing line still attached to the vessel.
“This rescue is a perfect example of why mariners must be sure they have good safety equipment and reliable communications before heading out on the water,” said Lt. Jessica Mickelson, Sector Honolulu’s Public Affairs Officer. “Thankfully Mr. Wichman was still able to use his cell phone after capsizing and entering the water. Sector Honolulu was able to work in conjunction with 911 dispatch to get a GPS position of the capsized vessel from Mr. Wichman’s cell phone enabling Coast Guard rescue crews to arrive on scene at the exact location of distress instead of having to conduct a search. At the end of the day, we couldn’t have asked for a better rescue. Mr. Wichman was delivered safely to shore with minimal injuries and he and his friends will have quite the indisputable fish tale to tell.”