Man killed by needlefish

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A fisherman in the Philippines has been killed by a leaping needlefish.

Jesus Guerrero was fishing off Sitio Gapuh early Tuesday morning when a needlefish, known locally as 'balu', jumped out of the water and impaled itself in his throat.

He managed to pull the 30cm/12" fish out, but died minutes later, despite attempts by his son and brother to save him.

Needlefish swim near the water surface and are capable of making short leaps out of the water. Their sharp beaks can inflict nasty puncture wounds on unfortunate divers and fishermen who happen to be in the way.

In 2007, a 16-year-old boy died after being stabbed through the heart by a 90cm/3' needlefish while diving in northern Vietnam. It's thought the fish might have been startled by the boy, accidentally stabbing him as it tried to escape.

In 2009 a man was left with the 'beak' of a needlefish stuck in his face after it leapt from waters in the Mediterranean basin and struck him below the nose, piercing his nasal cavity. And in 2004 a needlefish jumped from the sea in Guadeloupe and impaled a man in his eye socket.

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