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HAMILTON, Bermuda (AP) -- A fisherman was recovering from surgery after he was speared in the chest and knocked into the Atlantic Ocean by a blue marlin during a fishing competition off Bermuda's coast.

Ian Card, 32, was in stable condition at King Edward VII Hospital in the British Island territory from a wound that his doctor said could have been fatal.

"He was very lucky," said Dr. Christian Wilmsmeier. "It was a very serious injury."

Card and his father, Alan, both operators of a charter fishing boat and experienced marlin fishermen, had just hooked the fish Saturday when it suddenly leapt out of the water, impaled Ian Card just below his collar bone and knocked him into the ocean.

"The fish all of a sudden changed direction and jumped. The fish made a leap and Ian just happened to be in the way," Alan Card said.

The younger fisherman managed to struggle free while his father cut the line and helped his son get back into their boat, the Challenger.

They managed to make it back to shore in about 40 minutes for emergency medical treatment.

The fishermen estimated the marlin at about 800 pounds (363 kilograms) and about 14 feet (4.3 meters) in length
 
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