Tuna Capsized Boat: How Was Anthony Wichman Rescued By Coast Guard?

By iScienceTimes Staff on July 22, 2013 6:34 PM EDT

hawaii
An Ahi tuna capsized the boat of Anthony Wichman, a Hawaii man who battled with the 230-pound tuna for an hour. (Photo: Fotopedia user raphael)

A battle with a tuna resulted in a capsized boat and one man who's lucky to be alive.

Anthony Wichman, 54, was fishing in Port Allen, Kauai, in Hawaii, on Saturday morning, when he hooked a massive Ahi tuna -- all 230 pounds of it.  After an epic hour-long battle with the tuna, Wichman managed to get the tuna into his boat. But that's when the real fight began.

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"He gaffed it once in the back and once in the eye and that caused the fish to take a final dive and he drove straight down," said Anuhea Wichman, Anthony's daughter. "The line wrapped around my dad's ankle and pulled him overboard."

Anthony was able to scramble back onto the hull of his capsized boat, and using his waterproof cellphone, Anthony called Anuhea. 

"All I could hear was him hyper-ventilating and puking. And through his breathing, he was able to say three words: sinking, Coast Guard, and buoy," Anuhea said.

The Coast Guard was able to call Wichman on his phone. The Coast Guard worked with 911 operators to determine the location of Wichman and his capzied boat, using the GPS signal on his phone. A helicopter came to Wichman's rescue, hovering over Wichman and the capsized boat while a rescue diver grabbed him and brought him onto the helicopter. 

The tuna was still on the line, and some fisherman friends nearby the capsized boat helped to reel it in -- this time, for good.  

"At the end of the day, we couldn't have asked for a better rescue," said Lt. Jessica Mickelson, Sector Honolulu's Public Affairs Officer. "Mr Wichman was delivered safely to shore with minimal injuries and he and his friends will have quite the indisputable fish tale to tell."

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