This San Diego fisherman was posing for a photo with his catch. His wife said “Smile” and snapped the shot just as a large sea lion launched out of the water and bit into the fish, and his hand.
The estimated 300-pound sea lion ripped his arm down with a massive force, whipping him off the boat.
But, the sea lion didn’t have any intentions of letting him go, and dragged him at a great speed deep into the water.
ABC 10 News interviewed the couple and got the facts of this incredibly unusual, life-threatening story straight.
Dan Carlin, the lucky-to-be-alive fisherman and diver, is grateful to have survived.
He told ABC 10 News: “It was terrifying. When the sea lion was taking me down and I was going at that rate of speed I knew I was going to die… This wasn’t ‘this could be it’—this was ‘this is it.’”
He fought to get free for what he thinks was about 20 seconds. He swam up to the surface only to be followed by the sea lion, which then took a bite out of his foot, chipping off the bone. He struggled back onto the boat with a broken hand, terrible bruises, and a gaping wound in his foot to his terrified wife, who had watched bubbles come up as he disappeared less than a minute earlier.
The fact that the sea lion continued to attack Carlin shows that it wasn’t just about the fish. It’s a good reminder to people to stay away from sea lions, which can be extremely aggressive, and to make sure you keep your children far from them if you come across any at the beach or swimming near your boat.
The Carlins assured 10 News they had not been feeding the sea lion beforehand, or throwing fish carcasses overboard.