Tourists in Hawaii were seen screaming as a huge marlin swam onto Waikiki Beach last Thursday in a viral video of the bizarre encounter. Honolulu's most popular stretch of sand was jam-packed at the time, forcing people to jump out of the way of the thrashing fish's spear-like snout.
In an interview with KHON2, Lieutenant Blake Caporoz from Honolulu Ocean Safety said the incident was a "once in a blue moon kind of thing" while the reason the two-metre long fish beached itself remains a mystery. The marlin was first spotted in the surf earlier in the afternoon, but authorities didn't expect it to come any closer to shore. "And then we are sitting here and then you see the big shadow come through and I'm like, 'Huh! There it is!'," Lt Caporoz said.
TikTok user Aamna Ahmad shared footage of the rare incident, which has now been viewed over 23 million times.
"A lot of people attempted to save the marlin but it wasn't safe. That fish was strong and really fighting," he explained in a comment. In a follow-up clip, people can be seen pulling the marlin back into the water but Mr Ahmad said by that stage the animal was unfortunately too weak to swim away, so authorities permitted some beachgoers to take it home to eat.
People killed by sharp rostrums
A stab from a marlin or swordfish's spiked bill can easily kill a person.
Hawaiian fisherman Randy Llanes died in 2015 after being skewered through the chest by a swordfish off Hawaii, and in a similar incident, a woman was killed by a marlin while scuba diving in Indonesia.
"It's so sharp and it has so much power. A fish like that size is all muscle," Lt Caporoz said.
Closer to home, a man in the Northern Territory was killed in August 2020 when he was struck in the chest by a fish that launched itself into his boat. It's unclear what kind of fish it was.
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