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going fishing? Here are safety tips to make sure you don’t get pulled overboard

going fishing?  Here are safety tips to make sure you don’t get pulled overboard

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii (KHON2) – The search for 63-year-old Mark Knittel, who went missing on the Big Island Sunday, Jan. 15, while fishing, has been called off, according to the Coast Guard.

Knittel was reportedly fishing with a friend in Boyne Sea, four miles from the Honounau boat ramp, around 5 a.m. when he hooked an ahi. The friend said he heard Knittle say, “This fish is huge” before Knittle fell overboard. The friend said the nettle disappeared in seconds.

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And, this is not the first time this has happened.

In March of 2019, an Oahu man went fishing 24 miles off the South Shore with his wife and was pulled over while trying to catch a big fish. His body was never found.

Charter fisherman Brusky Lewis said he knows several people who have been pulled overboard.

“Luckily, they broke free of the line and they swam back to the boat,” he explained. “But, unfortunate events, some people can just get trapped and get pulled down.”

He said some fishermen use a fishing technique called hand-lining.

“They just line up a bait, drop it down in a basket and pull it up with their hands.”

With that method, since the fishing line is wrapped around your hands, he said, hooking an ahi that weighs 200 pounds or more can be very dangerous.

“If [the ahi is] going to run again, they’re going to run back down; And you’re being pulled down.

Louis said he always keeps a knife on his hip, just in case.

Coast Guard Assistant Staff Officer Lenny Cantor said taking extra safety precautions could save your life because no one expects to get pulled in by a fish.

The simplest safety measure: wearing a life vest.

“it [lifevest] is automatic. If I fell overboard or into the water, it would automatically inflate,” Cantor said.

Many larger fishing boats have fighting chairs that are mounted on the boat and let you in.

“So if anything, rod and real and you’re not going to end up,” Lewis explained.

If you don’t have a fighting chair to fasten yourself to, a simple wire can be used to hook your life vest, then onto the boat. Cantor said that if a fish pulls you, it can keep you closer to the boat.

Every boat should also have a radio as cellphones don’t always work at sea.

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And, smaller personal locator beacons can be purchased if you go overboard. This should be attached to your life vest and can be used by GPS to help locate you.

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