US & Canada

Hawaii man dies after being impaled by swordfish

Swordfish (file image) Image copyright AFP
Image caption Swordfish can be aggressive if attacked, officials say

A man has died in Hawaii after apparently being impaled by the bill of a swordfish.

The fishing boat captain spotted the fish swimming in Honokohau harbour on Hawaii island, said a local government office.

He jumped into the water and speared the fish, but the fish then struck him in the chest, said witnesses.

Bystanders tried to resuscitate the man - Randy Llanes, 47 - but he was taken to hospital and pronounced dead.

The fish was about 3 feet (90cm) long with a bill about the same length, said the Department of Land and Natural Resources.

The incident is being investigated.


West Hawaii Acting Battalion Chief John Whitman of Hawaii County's fire department said it was not the first time he had heard of billfish - which also include sailfish and marlin - fatally impaling someone.

"They are very aggressive animals," he said.

"If you mess with them, they defend themselves pretty good."

The dead man's sister-in-law reportedly told the local TV station that Mr Llanes "was a tough guy, he was such a tough guy that everyone's scared of him, the whole harbour's scared of him".

But Kalina Llanes added that those who knew him well were "not scared of him because he has such a big heart".

Related Topics