In a strange and unfortunate accident, a California angler died on Friday after falling overboard while fighting a striped marlin.
Fred Talmage of Pacific Palisades was fishing just beyond Gordo Banks near Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. He hooked a striped marlin and went over the side of the 22-foot panga during the fight. A crewman struggled to bring Talmage back on board, but was unable to because of the man’s size.
“The skipper grabbed onto the elastic waistband of his [Fred’s] shorts, but could not keep him from slipping the rest of the way into the water. When Fred went into the water he did swallow some saltwater, but otherwise appeared okay, passing the rod back to the skipper, who simply slipped it into the nearest pole holder,” Eric Brictson, the manager of Gordo Banks Pangas, wrote in an email to Pete Thomas Outdoors. “Then the skipper passed the throw ring and strapped a life vest onto Fred as he held firmly on to the panga railing. Fred is very large man, approximately 280 pounds. He had mentioned health problems, diabetes, being overweight, and he did not have much upper body strength.”
Unable to help Talmage back into the boat, the skipper radioed for help. Talmage “suddenly became very weak and slumped into unconsciousness” shortly after the call was made. Help arrived within 20 minutes but efforts to revive the angler in the water and on the boat failed.