A father-son fishing trip nearly took a fatal turn on July 20 after a barracuda landed a 13-year-old angler in the hospital. According to CBS 4, Parker King and his father, Irwin King, were fishing about 20 miles off the coast of Central Florida for red snapper when they spotted the five-foot barracuda. Both avid anglers with previous barracuda experience, the pair thought nothing of it when they decided to try and catch the large fish. The barracuda, however, had other plans.
As the teen leaned over the side of the boat to change one of the hooks, the barracuda shot out of the water and took a large bite out of Parker King’s chest and right arm.
“It came up like a torpedo out of the water,” Parker King told The Daytona Beach News-Journal. “It nailed me.”
The fish sawed through one of the muscles in his arm and severed a vein. With blood covering their boat, Parker King said that he told his father he was going to die. Irwin King knew he had to act fast to save his son, and quickly wrapped a towel around the teen’s arm and chest to stem the bleeding. With no cellphone service, his son’s life depended on how quickly they could get back to shore. Irwin King recalled that there was no time for anything else than racing to get his son into a hospital, even with a live barracuda in the back of his boat.
“He’s still flopping and the back of the boat started going. I mean it was a bouncy ride,” said King. “I really didn’t care. I didn’t care if parts were flying off the boat or anything; I just wanted to get [Parker] in.”
King was eventually able to make a call out to his son’s mother, Candie Conrey. When Conrey arrived at the dock to help him transport the teen to Bert Fish Medical Center, she exclaimed that the whole boat was coated red. Parker King was rushed into surgery and received 17 stitches along with 27 staples. The 13-year-old was released from the hospital early last week and is expected to recover speedily. In fact, the young angler is in surprisingly good spirits after his near-death experience. He says that he would have no qualms about going fishing again, but he may be avoiding barracudas in the future.