SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS RADIO) – A fisherman is missing in Hawaii after he was pulled off of his boat on Sunday morning by a massive tuna fish and into the ocean, according to local police.
The Hawaii Police Department shared that Mark Knittle, 63, of Captain Cook, was fishing with a friend four miles off the coast of Hōnaunau on the Big Island.
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Before 5 a.m. local time, Knittle hooked the large ahi tuna that pulled him off the boat and into the water, police shared in a press release.
Before going head first into the ocean, Knittle reportedly said, “this fish is huge,” police shared in their press release.
Watching Knittle get pulled into the water, his friend attempted to grab the line with the fish on it, but police say he missed.
For a brief moment the friend reported spotting Knittle on the surface of the water, but he said that he vanished “within seconds,” police said.
Police also noted that the friend on the boat attempted to jump in but could not find where Knittle was in the water.
Because the two men were fishing four miles off the coast of the big island, Hawaii County Fire Department assistant chief of operations Dawin Okinaka shared with The New York Post that first responders and search crews are dealing with a “different situation.”
“Usually, our incidents like this are along the coastlines,” Okinaka said, adding, “If there’s a fish that’s actually pulling him around, you don’t know where he could go.”
The fish that Knittle had declared was “huge” before it yanked him from the boat can grow up to six feet long and weigh 400 pounds, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Police and the Coast Guard shared that they are continuing to search for Knittle and described him as 5 feet 10 inches tall and 185 pounds. He is said to have curly brown hair and white facial hair.
Police have not shared if they expect foul play to be involved in the incident.
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