While on a fishing trip over the Fourth of July weekend in Panama, 18-year old Stephen Schultz was injured when a 600-pound Marlin he was reeling in leapt into the boat, striking him in the head and chest.
The Schultz family - Bob, his son Stephen, and 20-year old daugher Allison - were on a fishing trip off the coast of Panama. Bob had taken his children to Panama for some quality time away from the demands of telephones and every day life before his son went away to college.
Stephen had hooked a Black Marlin when the boat was about 30 miles off shore. Estimated at 600 pounds, the fish leapt out of the water and crashed into the stern of the boat, landing right on the young angler.
Mates quickly cut the thrashing fish loose and all attention turned to Stephen, now lying on the deck and bleeding profusely from the nose and mouth. The boat immediately raced to shore -- a 2 hour journey -- and a waiting plane flew Stephen to the National Hospital in Panama City. X-Rays revealed broken sinus walls and several internal lacerations.
Since the incident, Stephen has been in and out of doctor's offices. Chances are good that no oral surgery will be needed to correct the sinus damage because the bones are so small.
Of the adventure, Bob says, "It was scary as hell. An inch's difference and my son might not have survived. And I'll be carrying my own first aid kit from now on." It turns out the boat was stocked with only a rudimentary first aid kit. A more severe wound might have been lethal that far from shore.
The chances of catching such an incident on video are very remote. As Bob says, "Has anybody ever gotten video of somebody getting struck by lightning?"
Stephen is expected to make a full recovery and attend the University of Colorado at Boulder in the Fall. Neither Bob or Stephen have any regrets about their experience, though Bob says his son will "be a lot more careful about which way the fish is pointing from now on."
SHARE - Got an interesting saltwater fishing video you'd like us to share?
Visit our User-Submitted Video Page