Skip to main content

Web Waypoints

These stories and others appear daily on, which also contains a searchable archive of past Soundings stories.

Angler impaled by the bill of a leaping 14-foot marlin

A fisherman was nearly killed in July during a tournament off Bermuda when a blue marlin he hooked speared him in the chest with its bill and knocked him into the Atlantic.

The man and his father were reeling in the fish when they say it leapt from the water and impaled the 32-year-old just below the collar bone and sent him overboard, the Associated Press reported. He managed to free himself from the fish while his father cut the line and helped him back aboard. The victim was taken to a hospital, where doctors say he was “very lucky” to be alive. The fishermen estimate the blue marlin weighed 800 pounds and measured around 14 feet.


A Canadian woman recently clung to a gasoline can for several hours in the Mackenzie River in the Northwest Territories after the boat she and three relatives were aboard capsized in rough conditions. The 34-year-old woman was with her god-brother and two cousins at about 2 a.m. when the incident occurred, sending everyone into the water, Canada’s Edmonton Sun newspaper reported. The god-brother reportedly passed the woman a gas can to float on, and she held it for about three hours as she swam to land, where she fashioned a bed and blanket out of willows and spent the night. The following day she flagged down passing boaters for help. She was taken to a hospital and treated for second-degree chemical burns to her torso and right arm, reportedly caused by gasoline leaking from the can. The woman’s relatives were presumed to have drowned.


Two Irishmen had to be rescued in July when they stole a fishing boat but had no idea how to operate it. The men, who are 18 and 20, apparently had missed a ferry home from Holyhead Harbour in northwestern Wales, the BBC reported, and decided to steal a 30-foot trawler and cross the Irish Sea themselves. However, they quickly became disoriented and placed a mayday call. Rescuers said the men had been going in circles and were headed in the wrong direction. “They were totally disoriented. They didn’t know any nautical terminology whatsoever, and I think in all honesty they were quite frightened,” said Ray Carson of the Holyhead Lifeboat Station, in his report on the incident.


A Florida man and his 19-year-old son drowned during a July family outing when their 15-foot powerboat capsized in rough conditions in the Matlacha Pass. The men, along with the mother and a 14-year-old daughter, were thrown from the boat when it hit two waves and flipped, according to a report in the Fort Myers News-Press. The son, authorities say, had given his mother the PFD he was wearing moments before everyone went overboard. The father, who was 47, wasn’t wearing a PFD. The mother and daughter were treated ata hospital and released. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission was investigating the incident.


A Kentucky man was arrested in Florida in July after he allegedly stole and grounded a 100-foot yacht. Police say the 46-year-old man, who had been drinking, stole the 1988 Broward from its dock and took it for a joy ride, Florida’s Orlando Sentinel newspaper reported. The ride, however, was short. Steaming erratically up the Intracoastal Waterway, the man ran aground on the banks of West Lake Park, about 500 yards from the dock. A nearby boat owner said he saw the man on the Broward and that he appeared comfortable, waved and was drinking from a bottle of Jack Daniels. The alleged thief was being held on a grand theft charge, a first-degree felony.