Woman’s throat cut by flying mackerel during fishing trip

Belinda Bingham's neck was cut by a fish that launched out of the water.

Belinda Bingham's neck was cut by a fish that launched out of the water. Photo: ABC

Belinda Bingham was lying on the floor with blood streaming from her throat when husband Neil turned around from baiting his line.

A 10-kilogram, metre-long mackerel had launched itself from the ocean, at a height of more than 1.5 metres, and cut her throat.

“It sure had some momentum. It just knocked me off my feet. [I] didn’t see it coming, didn’t see a thing,” Mrs Bingham said.

“And I came up and just blood was everywhere.”

On Monday last week the pair had been fishing near the ConocoPhillips pipeline off Channel Island boat ramp, about 45 kilometres from Darwin in the Northern Territory.

Mr Bingham said the blood from his wife’s wound soaked through his shirt in seconds.

“Neither of us had a line in the water at the time. I was putting bait on so my back was towards Belinda,” he said.

“Next thing she’s on the floor at my feet going ‘Something’s hit me, something’s hit me’. Looked up, she had her hand to her throat.

You could see the blood coming out through her fingers, pumping.

“My shirt was just, the whole chest on the righthand side was just blood, and that was in a matter of two or three seconds.”

He quickly called triple zero, and the police and ambulance had arrived by the time they had reached the boat ramp.

Mrs Bingham was left with a deep wound to her neck, which she said nearly reached her thyroid.

When fish attack: The injury. Photo: ABC

“Other than that it’s the chest pain and my voice, because the fish bashed my throat,” she said.

“And they have been worried about the voice coming back. But it’s the chest pain, it’s like a whiplash I think. It’s very sore.”

She was relieved the mackerel had died when it struck her and fell lifeless into the boat.

Otherwise, she thought it would have cut her more.

Asked if they then went on to eat the fish, Mr Bingham said they had decided against it as it had been too long by the time they got his wife to hospital.

“The main thing is she’s still here to tell her story,” he said.

“We survived it. We got over it – well we’re getting over it.”


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