Photo credits: The Billfish Report,

While fighting a marlin in Panama, the captain backs down on the fish, but loses control of his vessel. Fortunately, all aboard were rescued.

Reports from sources say that the captain, while aggressively backing down on the marlin, slipped and lost control of the wheel. The boat then dug down further into the seas, taking on water and eventually sinking. All onboard were safely taken aboard another nearby vessel.

While backing down hard on a big fish it’s common to get the seas very close to the transom top. Maybe even a couple of inches from the top of the transom is about where the seas might be in such a battle, at least momentarily. Cockpits full of sea water are not out of the ordinary, either, but require immediate action. The scuppers won’t work when the cockpit is filled with water, maybe with one big wave over the transom.

In such a case, you can go to neutral and then start forward to let the water escape. You can even open the tuna door. The boat then regains its buoyancy.

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