Sometimes you get the fish and sometimes the fish gets you. Last Friday, 54-year-old Anthony Wichman was fishing 14 miles off the shore of Kauai in the Hawaiian archipelago when he hooked a 230-pound ahi tuna. He won the hour-long fight that ensued, but not without a last act of resistance from the fish. As Wichman attempted to bring the tuna on board, it suddenly dived and overturned his 14-foot boat.
“In his mind, he thought he was dying, that he was gone,” daughter Anuhea Wichman told KHON.” But he thought about his family, thought about his first grandson, which is my son. That was his motivation. He had to survive.”
The incident happened when Wichman gaffed the tuna in the eye, causing it to convulsively dive straight down. When it did, a line attached to the struggling fish hooked around Wichman’s ankle and took him along. While underwater, the angler was able to free himself and cling to the side of the boat. Thankfully, Wichman had brought along a waterproof phone and was able to call his daughter, who in turn notified the Coast Guard.