Sea Lion Photobombs Fisherman…then Drags Him to the Bottom of the Sea and Nearly Drowns Him (Pics)
Sea lion photobombs fisherman and steals his fish? That sounds adorable!
Unfortunately for San Diego resident Dan Carlin, that was not the end of the story. The sea lion in the above photo didn’t just grab his California yellowtail. It also grabbed his hand. And when the sea lion plunged back into the water, it took Carlin with him.
The terrifying incident happened on Easter Sunday. Carlin and his wife had gone out fishing on their 30-foot boat as they often do on weekends. However, while they normally clean whatever they catch outside the harbour to avoid attracting the attention of sea lions, on that day the open sea was a bit choppy. So they headed in a bit early and cleaned their fish close to home.
It was right before they cleaned their last fish that Carlin’s wife asked him to pose for a photo. And it was at the exact moment that his wife pressed the shutter button that a sea lion leapt about seven feet out of the water, clamped on to Carlin’s hand with its dog-like teeth, and dragged him straight to the bottom of the bay.
Here’s how he described the ordeal to The Guardian:
I was in survival mode. I was fighting to get my hand free, and after a lot of struggling, it finally let me go. I was kicking to get back to the surface when it swam back and took a bite out of my ankle.
My experience of free-diving saved my life. When I went over, I didn’t open my mouth. If you do, seawater forces its way into your lungs and you sink like a rock. The water pressure could have blown out my eardrums, but I equalised the pressure by swallowing. When I surfaced I could hear my wife screaming my name. The whole thing lasted no more than 25 seconds. I climbed the ladder on to the boat and lay down. Every breath felt like agony. There was a huge hole in my hand, the blood was gushing out. Trish wrapped it in a towel. I knew I had to get to hospital, but first we had to hoist the anchor up the last 6ft.
The lesson? Don’t clean fish near sea lions.
Hat Tip – [SB Nation]