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Hospitalized Diver Describes Frightening Fish Attack


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Posted by on July 29, 2005 at 23:24:39:

Man Suffered Internal Injuries, 45 Stitches

HONOLULU -- A Mililani man Friday described how he survived a frightening attack by a mystery fish while he went spear diving one night last week.

Tonga Loumoli, 19, and a friend were night fishing at Kahana Bay when what appeared to be a 5-foot crocodile needlefish speared Loumoli's body.

Loumoli, who is 6 feet 1 inch tall and 225 pounds, required 45 stitches, showing just how powerful and aggressive the creature was.

"As I look at the water, I see something on the surface, real fast. And as I look down, all I see is eyes and teeth," Loumoli said. "It felt like a missile to the chest, or sledge hammer -- (like) somebody getting a sledgehammer and drilling it into your chest."

Loumoli said he feared death while the excruciating pain snatched the wind out of him.

"I said to myself, 'My Lord, if it's your will, let it be done,'" Loumoli said.

Braven Rivera rushed his bleeding fishing buddy back to shore. He then ran to a house and begged for the people inside to call 911. However, he said they ignored him.

Next, a frantic Rivera waited for a car to drive by.

"I was praying for a cop to come around the corner, and sure enough a cop came around the corner," Rivera said.

Loumoli suffered severe liver damage and internal bleeding. The needlefish even left behind a small tooth in his stomach.

Loumoli said he has had nightmares of the attack and that his faith will play a role in his road to recovery. But he said he wants to go fishing again. His mother is not so sure; she said his diving scares her.

He is scheduled to check out of the hospital on Friday or Saturday.



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