Fisherman missing at sea after he was dragged off his boat by tuna
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A fisherman who disappeared over the weekend was dragged off his boat by a huge tuna, it has been reported.
Mark Knittle was out on the waters off the coast of Hōnaunau on the Big Island when he hooked onto the large fish in the early hours of Sunday morning (15 January).
Moments later, the 63-year-old was pulled overboard and down beneath the waves as he battled with the ahi, which experts say can grow to up to six feet and weigh up to 400 lbs (180kg).
According to the Hawaii Police Department, a friend of Mr Knittle's, who was onboard that day, said they saw him in the water but he was gone 'within seconds'.
Police launched a missing person appeal, sharing the fisherman's photo on Facebook and asking if anyone had happened to see him.
The force said: "It was reported to police that on Sunday, January 15, 2023, at 5:00 am, Knittle and a friend were fishing near the 'C' buoy, four miles outside of the Hōnaunau Boat Ramp, when Knittle hooked an ahi.
"The friend heard Knittle say, 'The fish is huge,' then saw Knittle go overboard into the water.
"The friend attempted to grab the line but was unsuccessful. Knittle was seen on the surface and disappeared within seconds.
"The friend attempted to jump in after Knittle but could not see him anywhere.
"Hawai‘i Fire Department and the Coast Guard personnel were called out and are conducting a continuous search for the next 72 hours."
Darwin Okinaka, Hawaii County Fire Department's assistant chief of operations, said it was a peculiar case.
“Usually, our incidents like this are along the coastlines. This is a different situation because it’s out in the deep," he remarked.
“If there’s a fish that’s actually pulling him around, you don’t know where he could go."
Mr Knittle is described as being 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighing around 185 pounds.
He has curly, brown hair with a white moustache and beard.
Anyone who might be have information on his whereabouts is asked to get in touch with the local police and fire department as soon as possible.
You can contact the police department’s non-emergency line on (808) 935-331.
Officer Melani Cline can also be contacted at [email protected].
Featured Image Credit: Hawaii Police Department/Facebook/Nicosbs / Alamy Stock Photo
Topics: US News