Randy Llanes, 47, ran a deep-sea fishing charter in Hawaii

By Alex Heigl
June 01, 2015 12:25 PM

Randy Llanes, 47, was an experienced fisherman who ran a deep-sea fishing charter out of Honokohau Harbor on Hawaii’s Big Island.

Friday, he died after running afoul of one of the region’s most distinctive residents: the swordfish.

Llanes speared the broadbill swordfish from his boat, then jumped into the harbor’s waters in an attempt to bring it in. But, according to Sergeant David Matsushima of the Hawaii Island police, “the fish got wrapped around a mooring anchor, came back and swam at [Llanes].”

In the ensuing struggle, the 6-ft., 40-lb. fish dealt Llanes a puncture wound to his upper chest. Llanes was transported to a local hospital, where he died.

“Randy has been fishing all his life,” Llanes’s friend Dale Leverone told KHON 2 on May 29. “He’s a pretty accomplished fisherman. He actually caught a 500-lb. marlin yesterday out of his skiff.”

Cases like this “are very, very unusual,” Dr. Andrew Rossiter, director of the Waikiki Aquarium, told KHON 2. “There have been a couple of cases documented in the past, but almost always it can be attributed to an unfortunate accident or the fish being injured.”

Leverone added that Llanes is survived by his wife and a son. At a memorial Saturday, mourners brought a traditional lei to honor him and swam out to the spot in the harbor where he died.