Tuesday 2 June 2015 | Published in Regional
The ship’s captain, Randy Llanes, jumped – spear gun in hand – into the water to try to catch the swordfish.
However, his spear line got snagged on a buoy and the giant fish managed to turn around and hit the 47-year-old man in the chest with his sharp bill.
Spectators present quickly came to the rescue of Llanes.
His body was removed from the water, but he was already unresponsive.
First responders tried to revive him without success. His death was confi rmed at the Kona community hospital moments later.
“This is very unusual,” said Andrew Rossiter, director of the Waikiki Aquarium. “There have been a few documented cases in the past, and they are usually unfortunate accidents or incidents involving an injured fish.”
The news brought the Kona community to the harbour to pay their respects later that day.
Friends and family shared their fond memories of Llanes who grew up in Kona and worked at Honokohau Harbor for most of his life.