A sport-fishing boat off the coast of Panama capsized after someone aboard the boat hooked a gigantic black marlin. Photos of the ordeal posted to Facebook make it seem as though the monstrous fish sank the boat as it was being reeled aboard.
According to Marlin Magazine, which obtained the epic pics and uploaded them to Facebook, the fish didn’t actually play a role in sinking the boat, though the boat did eventually end up on the bottom of the ocean. Instead, the captain had been “backing down” on the fish, a practice where the boat is put in reverse to help reel in line. A large wave overtook the stern, upsetting the captain’s balance, which caused him to slip backwards and accidentally hit the throttle into full reverse. This rapid movement in reverse ended up swamping the yacht and sinking it.
A person claiming to be a spokesman for the boat manufacturer, Strike Yachts, took to boating forum The Hull Truth to offer a similar take on the incident: Direct from Panama I was told that the sea conditions were not as calm as they seem to be in the pictures and the Captain was an experienced Captain. The seas were full of big swells and large waves. A large wave came over the transom and with the anglers all being in the starboard corner the boat leaned… the Captain in the tower lost his footing [and] while the boat was still in reverse another wave came over the transom. At this time, the captain slipped and, believed to still have his hand on the throttle, putting the boat in full reverse burying the transom into the next waves and swells.
Black marlin have a reputation for being among of the largest, most difficult fish to catch. The BBC has labeled the creature, which can weigh as much as 2,000 pounds, the “fastest fish on the planet.” Indeed, black marlin can reach a top speed of 80 mph.
No one aboard the boat was harmed, and they were soon rescued by the same boat that captured the event on camera. As for the fish, that has to be one happy marlin. The one that got away.