A fishing boat and its crew had to be rescued after it lost a battle with a feisty black marlin more than 30km off the NSW south coast.
The 6.7 metre boat was trawling for fish when it hooked the 70kg marlin at around 1pm on Sunday.
"We were fighting it and it did a U-turn and slammed into the engine," the skipper of the damaged vessel said.
The marlin punched a hole in the engine's canvas cover and cowling, which wrecked the electronics and disabled the power of the boat, leaving the crew stranded without a means of getting back to shore.
Marine Rescue NSW jumped to the crew's aid
Marine Rescue were alerted of the incident and jumped into action to rescue the "shell-shocked" crew.
"It was a freaky thing," the skipper said, according to Marine Rescue NSW who travelled over an hour to reach the boat in the open water.
Marine Rescue Merimbula Unit Commander Bill Blakeman spoke to Sydney radio station 2GB and explained that once the boat was located and a rope was attached for towing purposes, it took another couple of hours to safely return the "fair lump of a boat" back to land.
"Best we could do was just a little under 10 knots," he said recalling the maximum speed they could travel to Kianinny boat ramp at Tathra, before the crew finally made it back to Merimbula.
The commander said that in his 15 years of volunteer service on the water he's never responded to an incident involving a marlin damaging a vessel.
"I've had a couple of shark-related incidents over the years where they attacked propellers, but never a marlin disabling a vessel," he said.
With black marlins known to weigh as heavy as 700kg and being one of the fastest fish in the ocean, they can cause serious damage if they are provoked.
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