A six-foot swordfish killed a fisherman after the man was impaled while attempting to use a spear gun in the water to snare his catch. The Hawaiian fisherman, a boat captain, was fishing for the predatory billfish Friday when he was impaled through the chest by the fish’s long, three-foot flat bill.
Writes CNN: “Randy Llanes, 47, was killed Friday while trying to catch the swordfish with a spear gun, according to the Hawaii Police Department. Llanes, who runs a deep sea fishing charter, jumped in the water at Honokohau Harbor on the Big Island after spotting the broadbill swordfish.”
The swordfish had come into the shallow waters of the harbor. After spotting the swordfish, Llanes jumped in the water and hit the fish with his spear, but after the fish was stuck it began to thrash about, leaving Llanes with a puncture wound to his upper chest.
Hawaii County Fire Department personnel responded to the harbor and attempted lifesaving measures on Llanes after he was brought back onto the docks. He was transported to Kona Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Acting Kona Police Sgt. David Matsushima said the swordfish hit with Llanes’ spear “got wrapped around a mooring anchor, came back and swam at him.”
A friend of Llanes, Dale Leverone, called Llanes an accomplished fisherman and family man.
“He was just a great local boy,” Leverone said. “A good attitude, good person, a help-anybody kind of guy. He had a heck of a lot of friends. It’s pretty sad, pretty tragic. Randy has been fishing all his life. He’s a pretty accomplished fisherman. He actually caught a 500-pound marlin yesterday out of his skiff.”
Leverone added that Llanes “got married in the last few years, he’s got a son that’s about five… It’s just pretty shocking for the whole harbor.”
Adds KHON News out of Honolulu: “Swordfish are usually found in deeper water. Sometimes during the daytime they swim near the surface. Experts say it’s very unusual for swordfish to be in shallow water, but as we saw Friday it does happen.”
According to Dr. Andrew Rossiter, the Director of The Waikiki Aquarium, there are two reasons why this swordfish may have come into shallow waters.
“One reason may be the fish was following a school of fish into the shallow water, the other reason is maybe the fish was injured in some way or somehow impaired,” Dr. Rossiter said.
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