Fisherman impaled by a dead marlin 25 miles offshore, says ‘I couldn’t believe it’

Dead marlin proves dangerous to Hawaiian fisherman Russell Ching.
Dead marlin proves dangerous to Hawaiian fisherman Russell Ching. Photo: KHON 2

Russell Ching always knew the dangers of a live marlin thrashing in the cockpit of a boat, but a dead one? The Honolulu fisherman received a painful lesson that, yes, even a dead marlin can be dangerous.

Ching and his friends were fishing 25 miles off Kaneohe, Hawaii, recently when they hooked and battled a blue marlin for about an hour and a half. The marlin, weighing more than 500 pounds, was dead by the time they pulled it into the boat.

"As we dragged it in, all that weight started to slip and I was kind of in a bad position and it [the bill] just went through my leg," Ching told KHON 2. "When it first went in, I couldn't believe how easy it went into my leg. I mean, it was like a hot knife through butter."

Ching was pinned to the side of the boat when the bill pierced his leg. Soon, shock set in. He told KHON 2 that it felt like somebody kicked him in the shin and he felt that pain constantly.

Russell Ching was pinned to the side of the boat by the dead marlin.
Russell Ching was pinned to the side of the boat by the dead marlin. Photo: KHON 2
Russell Ching said he was surprised at how easily the bill from the dead marlin pierced his leg.
Russell Ching said he was surprised at how easily the bill from the dead marlin pierced his leg. Photo: KHON 2

Being 25 miles offshore, the fisherman still had to endure a two-hour boat ride before he could receive medical attention.

"I was afraid of [bleeding out]," Ching told KHON 2. "I kept asking my friend if it was bleeding, but he said he wasn't too concerned about that. Plus, the bill kind of plugged it up."

Fortunately, the bill went in cleanly, missing all the major arteries.

Ching never did get a photo of the blue marlin, saying his friend sold the fish. As for that dangerous bill?

"I'll probably mount it or something," Ching told KHON 2. "That's a good story to tell people."

Here is KHON 2’s report:

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