Reported in the news recently, in Manila- Philippines, a scuba diver was accidentally dragged to a depth of around 300 feet (91 meters) by a giant tuna.
Scuba diver Ramir Te was said to be on a recreational dive near Kiamba on Saturday, October 23, 2010. According to reports, he was diving at around 80 feet (24 meters) when a giant tuna somehow got entangled in the diver’s harness and was pulled down to 300 feet (91 meters). There’s no information on how the tuna got tangled with the diver or how he managed to free himself and surface. However, the man survived and was rescued by members of the Coast Guard Special Operations Group (CGSOG) rescue divers after it took place. He was then immediately airlifted by the Philippine Air Force (PAF) helicopter in Cagayan de Oro City to be treated in a hyperbaric recompression chamber inside a search & rescue vessel ‘BRPSan Juan’ (SARV-001).
Although the species and size of this particular tuna is unknown, giant bluefin tuna are capable of reaching well over 450 kilograms (992 lb) in weight and around 4.3 meters (14 ft) in length.
The details of the incident seem a little sketchy to me as it’s not very believable for a giant tuna to get caught in a divers gear, even as a freak incident. Was the diver spearfishing? It does seem more plausible then, doesn’t it? Guess we’ll have to wait on more details on the incident.
However fishy the story smells, a lesson to be learned from all this if it happened as reported, and the fish got tangled in the divers harness, is the importance of streamlining. For more on this read our post titled- Scuba Tips: Streamlining To Reduce Drag
NOTE: Since this post was published, new details of the incident and the condition of the diver have emerged. You can read more about this in the Follow Up On The Giant Tuna Drags Diver To 300 Feet Story
*Pictured above: a giant tuna ensnared off Spain to show how big the fish can get in size. Image source NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) http://celebrating200years.noaa.gov/visions/fisheries/image7.html