Shocking footage of the moment a Californian surfer got hooked on a fishing line has gone viral as debate fires up over who was in the wrong.
The clip, uploaded to Instagram on Tuesday with the caption “hooked in a big one”, has left viewers cringing as the camera zooms in on a man in the water at Huntington Beach, southeast of Los Angeles.
“Let the f***ing string out, let the string out,” Will Dobrenen can be heard screaming over the waves as he grips his hands together, kicking forward in the water in a panic.
While he moves his teeth towards his palms, the onlooker on the pier pans their camera around to where a fisherman stands reeling his line in.
“F***ing idiot, get your goddamn line out of here,” the surfer yells up from below as the man slowly unreels his line.
By the time the camera moves back down to Will, he appears to have been freed, his surfboard floating beside him. Rubbing his hand he calls out once more, “f***ing moron, goddamnit”.
Surfers’ lives at risk
While the video blew up online, Will took to Instagram to explain what happened.
“The hook was caught in my wrist and I could not pull it out with my other hand,” he wrote. “I had to rip out the hook with my teeth, and then make sure I did not get hooked in my lip and made the situation worse.”
Will’s predicament has caused a division on social media with many remaining headstrong that the surfer was in the wrong. The Huntington Pier surf break is world famous and hosts international surfing events, while the pier is also popular with fishermen.
“Why the hell would you surf near a fishing pier?” one person wrote. “I get that surfers like the piers because they create good waves but it’s a fishing pier made for fishing,” another said.
“Get too close, you’re likely to get hooked.”
“Keep your distance from the fishing piers that are made for fishermen,” added another. “Surfers are intruding on fishers in these situations. Not the other way around.”
But many people didn’t see it that way and leapt to Will’s defence.
“More consideration needs to be given to those in the water,” one user wrote. “We use the currents around the pier to paddle out. Surfers are not the problem. They’re the victims of poor timing by people who should know better.”
“The difference between a surfer and a fisherman is that their lives aren’t in danger,” another said. “The surfer’s life is.”
“This fisherman should be banned from the pier,” someone else added.
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