Sea lion pulls man overboard in Mission Bay Channel - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Sea lion pulls man overboard in Mission Bay Channel

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - A man was hospitalized after a sea lion bit and dragged him underwater.

Witnesses said the man was standing on a boat with a fish in his hand, when the sea lion lunged at him and dragged him overboard.

The incident happened in the Mission Bay Channel around 2:40 p.m. Sunday and was one that lifeguards said they don't see very often.

"We were called down to come to the dock here in Quivira Basin for what was being reported as a bite to a man from a sea lion,” said Lt. John Sandmeyer. "A man was holding up a fish. Apparently a sea lion jumped up on the side of a boat, grabbed the fish, and grabbed his hand with it and pulled him into the water."

Lifeguards added that the man was in the water for 15 to 20 seconds before he was able to get back on his boat. As for injuries, that bite left puncture wounds bad enough to be treated at the hospital.

"I saw him being carried out on a stretcher, he had Band-Aids all over his arm. I guess from talking to his wife he was actually going into shock,” said Erik Kopp.

Erik Kopp is no stranger to the area and said when it comes to sea lions he's seen a difference.

"We're starting to see the behavior here on the dock with the seals a little more aggressive than normally. I've got one big bull that sleeps right in front of my boat. Sometimes I can't get on my boat,” added Kopp.

Incidents like this are rare but lifeguards said it's a reminder that when it comes to the sea, you need to be ready for anything.

"We don't have reports of this happening very often. Here and there there's reports of people that get too close to sea lions, it's concerning if this was on the rise, we can't say we've had multiple incidents like this, but it's something to remember,” explained Lt. Sandmeyer.

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