CNN A boat captain is dead after being speared by a swordfish in Hawaii. 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. After being hit with the spear that Llanes fired off, the fish “thrashed about, leaving a puncture wound to his upper chest,” said Lt. William Souther. Another official, acting Sgt. David Matsushima of the Kona Patrol, told CNN affiliate KHON that “the fish got wrapped around a mooring anchor, came back and swam at him.” Emergency crews attempted CPR, but Llanes died at a hospital from trauma caused by a puncture wound from the swordfish. The fish was about 6 feet long, half of which was its bill, and weighed about 40 pounds. Hawaii is a major source of the domestic swordfish catch in the United States, according to a seafood industry website. The swordfish is considered swift and ferocious, with a reputation of using its long, distinctive bills to slash prey. Andrew Rossiter, director of the Waikiki Aquarium, told KHON the fish may have been pursuing a school of smaller fish into shallow water or was injured. Ancient Hawaii residents feared the swordfish because they attacked and sometimes pierced fishing canoes. Llanes was remembered by friends and family as an experienced fisherman. People who showed up at a memorial jumped in the harbor and swam out to the spot where he died. They brought a traditional lei to honor him.
The waters off the coast of Hawaii are a dangerous place, and we have posted violent encounters between humans and fish before, however these animal attacks are usually a surfer or swimmer being attacked by a tiger shark. Unfortunately for Randy Llanes, he underestimated the dangers of spearfishing a juvenile swordfish, and when he shot the animal, the provoked creature charged and fatally stabbed Llanes in the chest with its sharp bill. This is another reminder to not provoke animals who have giant spikes attached to their faces, because if you put an animal in a life or death situation, it’s going to try to defend itself in order to survive.
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