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Prey turns the tables

JULY 27 — A fisherman was nearly killed Saturday during a fishing competition off Bermuda when a blue marlin he hooked speared him in the chest with its bill, knocking him into the Atlantic Ocean.

The fisherman and his father, both said to be experienced marlin fishermen, were reeling in the blue marlin when it leapt from the water and impaled the younger man just below the collar bone and knocked him overboard, the Associated Press reported. The stricken fisherman, who is 32, managed to free himself from the fish while his father cut the line and helped his son back into the boat.

The pair made it to shore in about 40 minutes and the younger fisherman was taken to an area hospital where he underwent surgery for his injuries, according to the news report. The injured man’s doctor says the injuries could have been fatal.

“He was very lucky,” Dr. Christian Wilmsmeier says in the report.

The fishermen estimate that the blue marlin weighed 800 pounds and measured about 14 feet long, the report says.

— Jason Fell