Hawaii fisherman vanishes after massive tuna drags him overboard

A fisherman remains missing after he fell overboard and vanished while trying to reel in a large tuna in Hawaii.

Authorities have been searching for 63-year-old Mark Knittle since Sunday morning, when he caught a massive ahi tuna about four miles off the coast of Honaunau.

The 185-pound man “disappeared within seconds” after the fish pulled him into the water, the Hawaii Police Department said in a release.

“The friend heard Knittle say, ‘The fish is huge,’ then saw Knittle go overboard into the water,” according to cops.

“The friend attempted to grab the line but was unsuccessful,” they added. “Knittle was seen on the surface and disappeared within seconds. The friend attempted to jump in after Knittle but could not see him anywhere.”

Hawaii Fire Department and the Coast Guard were called and started conducting a search that was scheduled to last at least 72 hours, at which point next steps would be determined.

“Usually our incidents like this are along the coastlines. This is a different situation because it’s out in the deep,” said Darwin Okinaka, Hawaii County Fire Department assistant chief of operations.

According to Hawaii Deep Sea Fishing, “Ahi is among the larger tuna species,” growing over 6 feet long and weighing up to 440 pounds.

“If there’s a fish that’s actually pulling him around, you don’t know where he could go,” Okinaka said.

With News Wire Services