Fisherman catches scuba diver

An Exmouth angler got a bigger catch than he bargained for - he landed a scuba diver.

John Goldfinch, 61, of South Street, was fishing for mackerel on Budleigh Salterton beach with his friends, Colin and Alan Ashley, when he felt a big bite on his line.

John had to battle to reel in the catch, believing he had caught a massive fish.

But his delight turned to shock when John’s hook surfaced around 15 metres offshore - to reveal a hapless scuba diver.

To add potential injury to insult, the diver’s wetsuit had been hooked between his legs.

John said: “My mates were falling about laughing. I said ‘sorry mate, I didn’t see you there’ and he just said it was very murky down there.

“The funniest thing was his girlfriend then surfaced, helped him remove my tackle from his ‘tackle’, then nonchalantly handed the hook back to me and apologised.”

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Despite seeing the funny side of the incident, John believes there is a serious message to be learned.

“I didn’t see the diver because he didn’t have a safety buoy, which they’re supposed to have when they’re moving underwater.

“My brother-in-law’s a diver and he said it served the bloke right – at the end of the day, he could have ruined his kit or even worse!”

Although John does not know the diver’s identity, it has left him with, perhaps, the tallest of fishermen’s tales.

“One of my friends was on his first fishing trip and he asked if it happened very often – I told him it was a once-in-a-lifetime thing.

“When I told my wife, she just said she was glad I didn’t bring him home, as she couldn’t have eaten a whole one!”