SYDNEY: A man has survived for hours in cold, shark-infested waters after being dragged out of his boat as he struggled to land a large fish in Australia, rescuers said Wednesday.
The man, believed to be in his 20s, was fishing alone Tuesday about 30 nautical miles off Western Australia when he hooked a marlin — a game fish that can weigh more than 400 kilograms (881 pounds).
It pulled him overboard after being hooked and his boat drifted away, leaving him treading water for six hours in the shark-infested area.
A fellow fisherman spotted the empty boat and alerted authorities.
Exmouth Volunteer Marine Rescue Group Commander Rusty Ellis said the man was “extremely lucky” to be found in such a remote area.
“He was just one tiny little head bobbing in the ocean,” he told AFP. The fisherman was treated for hypothermia.
Ellis added that Tuesday’s rescue highlighted the need for anglers to take proper safety precautions when fishing off Australia’s west coast, with two lone fisherman lost to the seas near the same area last year.