It is normally the man who catches the fish. But for one Indonesian man the roles were reversed when a flying needlefish stabbed the teen in the neck.
According to reports, Muhammad Idul was night fishing with his friend when his boat rode into a school of needlefish. The startled fish began jumping out of the water and one of the fish, which have razor sharped snouts, flew into the 16 year old Idul’s neck, spearing him.
The dagger-shaped fish, are found in tropical waters and when threatened can jump out of the water at speeds reaching 37 miles per hour, turning them into flying spears.
The fish attack knocked Itul into the water. The fish now embeded in his neck was still alive and thrashing around as it tried to free itself. With his friends help, Itul managed to grab the 75 cm long fish, hold it tight and, in the dark, swim back to shore.
The freaky accident happened in the waters off Wakinamboro village, in the South Buton region of Indonesia. Idul’s family rushed him to the local hospital but doctors were unable to remove the fish so he was transferred to Wahidin Sudirohusodo Hospital in Makassar. There, surgeons spent two hours operating on the teen before successfully removing the fish from his neck.
Fortunately for the boy although the fish’s sharp teeth had pierced his skull, the fish’s position had blocked excessive bleeding.
Idul is reported to be in a stable condition.
The boy was lucky to survive. In the past needlefish have reportedly killed humans.
In 1977 a 10 year old boy in Hawaii was killed by a needlefish that pierced his eye and brain, when it jumped from the water while the boy was night fishing.
In 2007 a 16 year old boy was stabbed through the heart by a needlefish while night diving.