Accountant almost killed by fish-thieving sea lion

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One moment the US fishing enthusiast was posing triumphantly with his prized catch — the next, a hungry sea lion was dragging him underwater to what he feared would be his certain death.

Dan Carlin had reeled in a number of yellowtails from his nine-metre boat in waters off San Diego, California, when his wife Trish asked him to smile for a photo, 10 News reports.

The 62-year-old accountant grinned and held up one of the fish when a sea lion sprang two metres from the water and latched onto his hand in an effort to snatch the tasty treat.

His wife’s incredible photo captures the moment the predator bit into Mr Carlin’s hand, just before it dragged him six metres underwater.

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