A day out spearfishing resulted in injury after two brothers were wounded by a 100-kilogram marlin while on a spearfishing trip.
The brothers had been out spearfishing off the Wooli coast on May 23, when a large marlin reportedly leapt into their small inflatable boat, thrashing and fighting violently. During their attempt to get the marlin back into the ocean, one of the brothers had his arm sliced open by the colossal fishes' pointed snout, causing a compound fracture and nerve and tendon damage. The other brother also took the weight of the marlins attack, with a deep wound to his right shoulder. Eventually, after wrestling with the marlin, they managed to get the fish back into the ocean.
On return to land, one of the brothers was airlifted to Coffs Harbour Base Hospital – however, the other brother decided to head to the pub after the ordeal. Once he was treated by ambulance staff, he allegedly headed to the Wooli Bowling and Recreation Club for a beer post incident.
In New South Wales, personal injury claims are handled under the Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW). This includes injuries from recreational activities, such as sports. However, in order for a claim to be successful, it needs to be established that a duty of care was breached by one party to another in keeping them safe, and that steps were taken to avoid the injury sustained.
Despite probably not anticipating the risk of an attack from a marlin as part of their fishing trip, as the brothers were on a personal vessel at the time of the incident, it's unlikely they'll be able to seek compensation under a personal injury claim.
Had the brothers been on a recreational fishing trip, they may be able to seek compensation if they could prove that a duty of care had been breached from the boat operator. That being said, a court would need to determine whether the assumed risk was large enough or not to warrant not awarding compensation for professional negligence.
It's important that if you're injured in an incident pertaining to public liability to reach out to professionals to support you with your case. This is where Gerard Malouf & Partners step in. With over 12,000 successful claims and a world of legal expertise, we are dedicated to helping each of our clients reach a favourable outcome for their claim. For more information, get in touch with our team.