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A Fish Too Far: Florida Spear-Fisherman Drowns After Being Entangled and Pulled to Ocean Bottom by Giant Grouper News Service
September 11, 2006 18:42 EST

MIAMI, Florida -- A Florida diver shot a large grouper with a speargun then apparently drowned when the fish sped into a hole, entangling the man in the line attached to the spear, investigators said today.

The 42-year-old man, whose name was withheld, was free-diving in about 7.5 metres of water off the lower Florida Keys on Saturday and speared a Goliath Grouper (a protected species in Florida), Monroe County Sheriff's Detective Mark Coleman said.

"It looks like the fish wrapped the line attached to the spear around the victim's wrist. The fish then went into a hole in a coral rock, effectively pinning the man to the bottom of the ocean," Detective Coleman said in a news release.

Police divers found the speared fish tightly wedged into the hole, with the man's body still tangled in the line, a sheriff's spokeswoman said.

Goliath Grouper are the largest members of the sea bass family and can weigh hundreds of pounds.