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[News] Florida SpearFisher Challenges Grouper

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Apr 7, 2006
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On Saturday 9th August 206, a SpearFisher was found dead off the Florida Keys in the US. It seems that after spearing a Goliath Grouper (a protected species) the victim was dragged to the bottom of the ocean by the fish and pinned against the coral ro...



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Poor guy,

i suppose he died doing the thing he loved. However, it seems to me that incidents such as this do nothing but harm to the image surrounding spearfishing.

R.I.P.

Huw
 
what I read here is again about a lack of proper freedive instruction.

1) Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!!! He's entangled? Use your knife and cut yourself loose. I bet when the investigation is done, they will find he didn't have a knife.

2) If he had a weight belt on, ditch the damn thing.

3) Once again, freediving - specifically, spearfishing by yourself is a huge No No... Had he been with a properly trained buddy, he could have been rescued. Darwin award candidate for sure on this...

Freedivers - especially spearo's - get indignant about freedive cert courses, but this once again proves that a Darwin award candidate shows what NOT to do in something like this. Proper training would have greatly improved his chances of survival.

I'm currently working with a student and we're headed out to a coastal lake today specifically to address technique for emergency situations - I feel bad for his family, but he was dead before he even made the descent in my opinion.

Off my soap box now...
 
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Cliff Etzel said:
what I read here is again about a lack of proper freedive instruction.

1) Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!!! He's entangled? Use your knife and cut yourself loose. I bet when the investigation is done, they will find he didn't have a knife.

2) If he had a weight belt on, ditch the damn thing.

3) Once again, freediving - specifically, spearfishing by yourself is a huge No No... Had he been with a properly trained buddy, he could have been rescued. Darwin award candidate for sure on this...

Freedivers - especially spearo's - get indignant about freedive cert courses,
but this once again proves that a Darwin award candidate shows what NOT to do in something like this. Proper training would have greatly improved his chances of survival.

I'm currently working with a student and we're headed out to a coastal lake today specifically to address technique for emergency situations - I feel bad for his family, but he was dead before he even made the descent in my opinion.

Off my soap box now...


Those are all good points but had he been aware of the law he would be alive today.No safety training or freediving courses needed IMHO.

Read (a protected species)
 
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ajwaverider said:
Those are all good points but had he been aware of the law he would be alive today.No safety training or freediving courses needed IMHO.

Read (a protected species)

And what if he had speared a species similar in size that was not protected and had the exact thing happen??? To make a statement like no safety training or courses needed is in my opinion arrogant and misinformed. Tell his family that one, ok? :head

My experience has been spearo's are the WORST offenders of safe freediving practices purely for the sake of their ego's in shooting the biggest fish for bragging rights... :rcard

"Oh look how many fish I speared!! See how manly I am with shooting all these fish??? Look how BIG my speargun is!!!"

DB has stooped to levels I never imagined in misinformed responses like this... :ban

Think I'll take a long term sabbitical after reading numerous statements like this...

When responses like this become accepted so easily and with apathy by the rest of the old guard of DB, it's time to consider moving along...

In addition, the pseudo-intellectual articles being displayed on this site anymore has reduced the quality of the information on this site to mediocrity...

This site use to have informative information, but now it has become the political platform for some to spew their ideologies to give them a sense of self-importance.

Any freedivers looking for an alternative, please feel free to contact me privately...
 
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Cliff these are all very good points but.

I belive Spear Fishing along with any kind of diving comes down to Pure Common Sence.

While doing a Dive Coarse is a great idea and reccomended there are only a few countries in the world you can do them.

In my home (Perth) there has never been a specific Spearo coarse ever and we are very lucky if Sebastian Murat make it over once every couple of years.

So we have to be self tought or learn of our peers, we have some good dive clubs and some of the worlds most experanced spearo to learn from but ''Clubs'' arnt for every one.

Most divers realise that they have to carry a knife etc, but would most people be able to compose them self enough to reach for a knife and cut the line when they are most likely in a state of shear panick and just want to breath, It takes an Experanced diver to be able to do that

A Bad/STUPID diver is allways going to be there worsy enemy, some people just should not get in the water, the type of people that will shoot any thing that swimms past regardless of what equipment the have Reel/Float or just a gun with nothing else.

I tought Scuba Diving full time for two years and there were people i came across that just should not get in the water, they just didnt have what it takes to ever master it and were allways going to be a danger to them selves and others.


My point is that while all the spearos in know and most who post on D.B are good safe divers there will allways be idiots who just dont get it and it is up to us to try to educate them, or convince them its in there best interest to do something else.

Unfortunatly most people are all caught up in this ''XXX "" No Fear"" Extream Shit that generations were doing before us but just called it fun, and Spearing is viewed as one of those HERO sports.

There are allways going to be Idiots out there some people are just dumb

Crusty
( bad spelling but im under the pump at work)
 
I used to be a member of the BMC (British Mountaineering Council). In the publications produced by the BMC there were frequent reports of accidents. These were always as detailed as possible icluding information about equipment failures, improper use of equipment and human error. I, and others, were grateful for these reports as they were an opportunity to learn by another's (often fatal) mistakes. What I liked about the climbing press was the way in which everybody understood the sport was dangerous but without anybody getting too worked up about it. When accidents happened the attitude was always one of seeking to avoid a repeat without condemning the unfortunate victim as an idiot etc.
Maybe we could have a section on this forum for accident reports so that we can all be properly informed of mistakes made. I believe people are much more likely to change their behaviour when faced with facts of an incident instead of argument and disagreement.
A big issue in the rock climbing world was question of whether or not to wear a helmet. The instructor type people always argued for, while numerous climbers argued strongly against. I appreciated being able to make my own decision based on accident reports and coroner's verdicts. I believe we need to treat spearfishing questions such as need for training, need to dive with a buddy etc in the same kind of way.
 
Cliff Etzel said:
And what if he had speared a species similar in size that was not protected and had the exact thing happen??? To make a statement like no safety training or courses needed is in my opinion arrogant and misinformed. Tell his family that one, ok? :head

My experience has been spearo's are the WORST offenders of safe freediving practices purely for the sake of their ego's in shooting the biggest fish for bragging rights... :rcard

"Oh look how many fish I speared!! See how manly I am with shooting all these fish??? Look how BIG my speargun is!!!"

DB has stooped to levels I never imagined in misinformed responses like this... :ban

Think I'll take a long term sabbitical after reading numerous statements like this...

When responses like this become accepted so easily and with apathy by the rest of the old guard of DB, it's time to consider moving along...

In addition, the pseudo-intellectual articles being displayed on this site anymore has reduced the quality of the information on this site to mediocrity...

This site use to have informative information, but now it has become the political platform for some to spew their ideologies to give them a sense of self-importance.

Any freedivers looking for an alternative, please feel free to contact me privately...

There will always be people who spoil a good thing with negative input but I think DB still offers much, much more than any negative input (occasionally) could spoil. Take the Guernsey thread for example, it satrted from almost nothing and now you have a group of people all helping each other and socialising; plenty of sound advice for beginners and others too. Me, i'm sticking with DB :)
 
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Cliff,

This is the Spearo Board, it's not the appropriate place to bash spearfishers!

Chad
 
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The original post above has the wrong date and some of the stories on the links provided speculate a lot about what is unknown about the incident.

Below are some more details that add to the enigma.

I doubt the Goliath weighed any more than 70 to 100 lbs, if it was 40" as stated, but it was obviously big enough to drown this guy.

Sad story!

My comments will be in my St Pete Times (www.sptimes.com) column tomorrow.

I'll post it after it runs.

Chad

http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/breaking_news/15522669.htm

"THE KEYS
Diver's last catch a fatal one
A diver lost his life in a rare underwater accident, this one involving a goliath grouper.
BY CAMMY CLARK
cclark@MiamiHerald.com
Gary Cagle, an avid free diver, made two mistakes on a Key West fishing trip last Saturday:
He speared a goliath grouper, a fish that is illegal to kill in the Florida Keys. He also forgot to bring along his knife.
That error cost him his life.
Cagle, spearfishing a half-mile off Smathers Beach, shot a 40-inch goliath grouper. The fish bolted under a coral head, entangling the diver in the line and, acting like an anchor, held him underwater until he drowned.
On Sunday, Key West police divers found Cagle's body pinned to the coral 17 feet down, his mask still on but the snorkel out of his mouth. The spear line was wrapped three times around his wrist, with the spear shaft still in the carcass of the dead fish -- shot right through the gills.
''It is bizarre,'' said Becky Herrin, spokeswoman for the Monroe County Sheriff's Office.
Goliath groupers, which can grow up to eight feet and weigh more than 600 pounds, are not known as aggressive -- but many of them show little fear of divers or snorkelers. The huge fish can be found on many wrecks in the Florida Keys.
Fishing goliath grouper in the Keys has been illegal since 1990. But friends of Cagle's say they believe something unexpected happened, expressing doubts that he would have speared the protected species intentionally.
''He must have been trying to protect his life,'' suggested friend Lori Kerry. `` The grouper was about 160 to 200 pounds and must have surprised him.''
Other experienced divers saw self-defense as an unlikely reason for spearing a goliath. But Kerry said Cagle had great respect for nature and once insisted she return a 50-pound goliath she had caught by accident, she said.
Cagle, 42 and a Georgia native, worked many years bartending at the Bull & Whistle Bar on Duval Street in Key West. His friends say he saved his money and invested well so he could spend most of his time on his aquatic passions. Almost daily, he drove his Jet Ski to sites where he could free-dive -- that is, dive without a supplemental air tank -- and fish for four to six hours at a time.
His friends say he weighed about 175 pounds, was in great shape and could hold his breath for four to five minutes under water, sometimes free-diving in depths of up to about 70 feet.
''He was like a fish,'' said Cagle's girlfriend, Melissa Aiello.
Last Saturday, Cagle left Stock Island alone about noon. When he didn't return that night, his friends became worried and called the Coast Guard. The Jet Ski was found that night but Cagle's body wasn't located until the following morning.
''While we worried about him diving by himself, we also didn't worry because he was so good at it,'' Kerry said. ``But Gary always, always, always said if he died he wanted it to be in the water.''
Marks on Cagle's body showed he struggled to free himself from the spear line. But he could not and drowned, according to a preliminary autopsy report.
Bob Holston, director of operations at Dive Key West, said he knows of few free diving or spearfishing accidents, but when they do occur it's usually because safety practices weren't followed. A major safety requirement is bringing a knife, in case a line does get tangled.
''Not wearing a knife is like crossing I-95 with your eyes closed,'' Holston said.
Kerry said Cagle was not a careless diver. But she has no answer why his knife was left behind on her porch. ''It's normally on his leg,'' she said.
A memorial service for Cagle will be held 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Dean Lopez Funeral Home in Key West. Later Saturday, his friends and family will board the catamaran Sunny Days to sprinkle his ashes into the waters he loved".
 
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Spaniard said:
There will always be people who spoil a good thing with negative input but I think DB still offers much, much more than any negative input (occasionally) could spoil. Take the Guernsey thread for example, it satrted from almost nothing and now you have a group of people all helping each other and socialising; plenty of sound advice for beginners and others too. Me, i'm sticking with DB :)
Good point well made ;)
For a publisher of this site you have to be impressed at the loyalty :rcard glad you dont work for me cliff!
 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

http://www.sptimes.com/2006/09/16/S...ng_report.shtml

Outdoors-Daily fishing report-By CHAD CARNEY-Published September 16, 2006

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Gary Cagle's ashes return to the sea today in Key West. Cagle drowned Saturday while free diving in 25 feet of water after spearing a 40-inch goliath grouper and entangling his hand in the spear gun line. Cagle was reported to have been in great shape and was experienced - free diving and spearfishing almost daily for many years. His death is an enigma to knowledgeable spearfishermen. Why did he shoot a protected species? In clear water, a goliath would be unmistakable to an avid spearfisherman. Was Cagle protecting a fish he had speared? Bold goliaths commonly attempt and often succeed in taking fish from spearfishermen. Knowing he didn't have his knife, how did he let the spear gun line get wrapped three times around his wrist?

Several factors could have changed the unfortunate outcome of this story. A sharp, stiletto knife is as essential to a free-diving hunter as a shroud line cutter and a reserve parachute are to a skydiver. Using a reel on a spear gun can make line handling safer, more efficient and allow a free diver to surface without losing his prey. Floats and lines are often used when targeting big fish, and they also make it easy to locate a free diver. Even experienced free divers can only stay down a few minutes, and they risk possible blackouts from hypoxia on ascent. Free diving with a knowledgeable buddy is wise.

More information on Cagle's story can be found in an article by Cammy Clark on www.miamiherald.com.

Chad Carney teaches diving and spearfishing in the Tampa Bay area. Call (727) 423-7775 or visit www.mobilescuba.com
__________________
 
reading all of the above it seems like a lot of things there more than meets the eye as when i first saw the story I figured a new guy spearing on his own and drowned. But the above additional information changed that. Cliff I have done two freediving course now but had to travel to the UK to do them and while I would also strongly advise any one to do a course its not always possible so I think the information available here can help rather than hinder. I personally don't see too much politics on site here and if they get too far gone they seem to be removed by the moderators. The site just got 10,000 members so I know I won't agree with all thats said but thats life.
 
I think DB is a valuable source of information and good advice for freedivers and spearos. Many people can't or won't do a course for various reasons, and for them the only source of advice is DB. I'm sure that the info here has saved a few lives.

There isn't much politics here. I can only think of a few threads which have become political debates or arguments. I think having a few controversial debates is a good thing, as it makes people show their true colours. If someone can't have a debate without insulting others and using sarcasm, I won't answer their posts or give them rep in the future. I don't mind others having different views from me as long as they express them politely and with respect for others.

Lucia
 
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he shot the fish....
he wrapped the line around his own wrist for xtra purchase
the fish exploded farther into it's hole
the man ran out of time
freediving since 1958
'if yah can't do it with a "sling"
it ain't spearfishing
 
Man, thats a prick of a post!! The poor sod is dead and you want to piss on his grave. You just have to be a 10 year old
 
you have totally distorted my post...but hey.....you're the "Pastor"...:confused:
IMO.he wrapped the line around his wrist .....planted a foot and tried to turn the fish,....
or
he shot the fish and it pirroetted about him looping the line around him clevery slipping down around his wrist....then dove back into it's hole.....
yeah...that is typical speared fish reaction...
I mean no disrepect.....
and suspect the poor sot...sod whatever would be the first to admit it....
 
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Poor guy, condolences to his family and loved ones.
I hope he's not dead in vain, and it's no hypocrisy: I really hope this tragedy will save our own lives, by helping all of us to remember what we must do or not do when underwater. For example.
-never dive without a knife. You can dive ten thousands times and never need to use it. But your first dive without a knife can be your last one.
-never stretch your breath hold time to the limit when spearfishing on a reef. You could realize that you're tangled or stuck when it's too late for doing anything.
-never insist pulling a grouper out of the hole if you're nearly out of air. Just mark the point, surface, and bide your time before going down again. (SailBlueH2o is probably right: the guy looped the line around his wrist to pull the fish out, and the pulling effort with no air left stoned him dead).
-never rely too much on the fact that you're diving with a buddy. Don't think: "I can risk: if shit happens, he'll come rescue me". Because along a two or three hours outing, even the most caring buddy could drop his attention in some moment, maybe on the fatal moment.
-never spear protected and endangered species. Not only because it's illegal, not only because it's a waste for nature. But also because, how can I say, it's "Taboo", it brings misfortune. As every fisherman and sailor knows, by some mysterious means, the Sea strikes back if you offend Him, willing or unwilling.
 
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Guys,

I could see one wrap around my palm to get a better purchase. Maybe not, knowing I didn't have my knife.

Wrap it around my wrist? No, that hurts instead of adding strength. And 3 times? I don't think so.

This sad story still doesn't add up.

Chad
 
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