surfer impaled by garfish
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Surfer Impaled by Garfish Leaping Through the Air in Freak Accident

Warning: this article contains graphic images.

It looks like the Orcas may have some more fishy friends on their team after an Australian man was impaled in the face by a foot-long garfish while surfing in Indonesia.

The Perth carpenter, Steve Kezic, was surfing off the Mentawai Islands in Indonesia with a group of other surfers when he felt a slap to the face. At first he thought one of the other guys must have thrown seaweed at him for a laugh. After seeing everyone staring at him intently, he noticed something must be wrong.

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The news video shows Kezic recounting the story; his surf coach noticed before he did, and said to him "You'd better stop, you've got a fish in your face." What a strange combination of words to hear.

When the fish leapt out of the water and through the air, Kezic had turned his face and the fish's beak went straight into one side of his nose, through the cartilage, and out the other. The fish's sword snapped off, leaving it behind, lodged in Kezic's nose. Had the fish flown any higher it would have caught him in the eye.

Kezic's surf coach and the other group members rushed to get him on a speedboat and back to the resort. He said he didn't feel the pain at first, but once he was on the boat he started to. The group was able to get Kezic to safety in about 15 minutes, but then came the realization that there wasn't a hospital close by. Luckily, another group member, Kyle Kophamel, was a doctor.

Dr. Kophamel set up a makeshift operating room and was able to remove the fish's spear in 45 minutes. The only thing left behind after the operation was three stitches.

garfish in the Croatian sea

Getty Images, Zillmannzimo

Garfish, with their long needle-shaped noses and sharp teeth, don't frequently find themselves stuck inside surfer's faces. This really is a freak accident.

This sharp-mouthed fish is usually more active at night, though can be startled by light and leap out of the water. Locals reported seeing some schools of garfish during the day in the days leading up to the accident.

"Personally I've never had anyone rock up to my emergency department with a fish stuck in their face," Dr. Kophamel remarked. Even for an Australian, where the running joke about Australia is that all the animals are deadly and trying to kill you, being speared in the face by a fish is a new one.

With only three stitches in his nose and no sign of infection, Kezic is recovering extremely well. He is super lucky this fish missed his eyes. And despite such a scary incident, Kezic is not deterred at all from surfing and is stoked to get back out there.

Unlike his nose, his sense of humor about the whole situation is still perfectly intact: He shared that his friend has the beak and is going to "make me maybe a nose ring with it."