bluewater hunting and freediving
Iaon Pohlit had no idea his line was wrapped around his neck until he reviewed the video later .
Photo by Nick Dumong
The line pulled the buckle , now on his back , so tight that he could not loosen it . When we recovered his equipment , we found his 7-millimeter spear badly bent and stuck in the wreck .
Nick was a young diver — -just 21 years old — with a lot of potential . He was also aware of his limitations in deep water . I believe he died not because he stayed down too long , but because he was unable to free himself from his float line . Had I tried to bring him up on the first dive , I would definitely have blacked out . Had I not seen Gyula come up with Nick , two people would have died .
With the popularity of personal video cameras , several scary and compelling stories of line tangles have made this issue very real with a first-person perspective . Here is one such story from Tanc Sade :
I spotted a 60-pound white seabass swimming directly underneath me , I dropped down and took what I thought was a very solid head shot . The fish took barely any line which ( wrongly ) had me suspect he was out for the count . I took a half-breath to make a quick retrieval and as I motioned to place my hands in its gills the fish lit up . In retrospect I should have backed away and made a second attempt later . I made the error of riding out my breath-hold to subdue the fish . What I didn ’ t realize , as I was trying to get my hands in its gills , was the fish was spinning me in circles and subsequently causing the clear 200-pound mono line to cinch my fins and a kelp stalk together . By the time I had subdued the fish and began to make my way to the surface , I realized I was trapped , a mere threefeet from the surface . At this point I thought I was simply wrapped in kelp — thinking nothing a few kicks couldn ’ t handle . However , on closer inspection I saw the clear mono line was holding me down . Luckily , I was calmheaded enough to use my freediving training to slow down , assess the situation , and wiggle myself free enough to steal a breath from the