Barracuda Attacks Diver

Outer Bamnks diving on the Great Escape Southern California Live-Aboard Dive Boat

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Posted by on July 25, 2005 at 09:05:49:

HONOLULU (AP) - A 19-year-old Mililani man is recovering at Queen's Medical Center after being impaled by what he says was a barracuda.

Tonga "Piu" Loumoli was night diving off Kahana Bay near Kaaawa in Windward Oahu on Thursday night when a four-foot-long fish charged into his stomach.

The fish wiggled loose, but left behind a six-inch-long gash and a tooth. A fishing buddy put Loumoli in a small dinghy and dragged him nearly a mile to shore and flagged down a police officer who called for help.

Marine expert Craig Thomas says he has never heard of a barracuda charging into a swimmer.

He says it seems more likely that Loumoli was impaled by a needlefish. But Loumoli, who has been night diving since his freshman year in high school, is adamant that he was attacked by a barracuda.

Loumoli was in the hospital's intensive care unit where he was being treated for a serious liver injury.

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