Freedivers capture near drowning incident when speared tuna drags diver into depth

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See 9News National

Jack Strickland had a GoPro camera strapped to his chest when he and his friend Aaron Gallagher went diving for fish, A Current Affair reports.

Mr Gallagher was holding his breath as he chased a dog-tooth tuna 17 metres underwater, but when he eventually speared it the fish started to drag him deeper.

spear-fisher-near-drowning

Vision of the incident shows Mr Gallagher struggling and spewing out bubbles as he sinks deeper into the water.

Mr Strickland frantically followed them and heaved his friend to the surface before giving mouth to mouth resuscitation on their boat.

“It was terrifying. His eyes were rolling back into his head and he wasn’t breathing. Having my mate dead in my arms was terrifying,” Mr Strickland said.

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Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

2 Comments

  1. Hey everyone, thanks for showing interest in the incident.
    I hope it can serve as both a learning experience and a huge wake up call for everyone in our sport. A bit of an overview of the incident… (the media never quite gets it right) We were filming for the upcoming series Back to Basics-Adventures and chasing some bluewater pelagics.

    Az dove down in pursuit of a Dogtooth Tuna and stalked the fish for quite a distance horizontally at a depth. When it seemed like he wasn’t going to get a shot the fish remarkably turned around and swam directly at Az allowing him to halt his ascent and land a great holding shot. Az released the gun and allowed the fish to swim off against the float (he was not tangled/fighting against the fish) still at 18m Az began his ascent for the surface as he had done thousands of times over the years, and then at about 8m without any prior warning he blacked out…inhaled a lot of water and started sinking rapidly.

    He had simply overexerted and pushed himself a little too far resulting in a lack of oxygen to the brain. Thankfully we were diving in pairs and Strick was able to drag him to the surface and after 2 minutes on the surface resuscitated him back to life. We were very lucky in the outcome, but every year there are a number of people who aren’t so lucky. I hope this incident can change the ‘invincible’ mindset of a lot of other divers and hopefully prevent other tragedies.

    *Back your mates
    *Know your limits
    *No fish is worth your life

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