Port Orange boy recovering after encounter with barracuda

13-year-old seriously injured miles from shore

By Sheli Muniz - Reporter, Loren Korn - Reporter

PORT ORANGE, Fla. - A fishing trip for a father and son turned into a terrifying ordeal after a barracuda attacked a 13-year-old.

The fish jumped into a boat and struck the teen so hard and made him bleed so bad, he said he thought he was going to die. What made it worse, he and his father were so far offshore, they didn't have any way to call for help.

It was a Sunday afternoon fishing trip for Irwin King and his son, Parker. About 19 miles from land, they spotted a barracuda.

"We seen him and he was big and we were like, 'This should be a fun little fight.'  But it wasn't.  It wasn't," said Irwin King.

That fight turned into a fight for Parker's life.

"All I heard was, 'Watch out.' (I) put my hands over my head and that's when he got me," Parker King said.

"In a split second, he went from there, up over the boat and just nailed him right (on the upper chest/shoulder area)," Irwin King showed Local 6.

The fish nailed the teenager so hard that it landed Parker in the hospital. Getting to the hospital, however, was the challenge. Being more than 15 miles away from shore, with no phone reception, they raced back to land with the barracuda still in tow.

"It's still flopping in the back of the boat and I started going, just heading, I mean, it was not a fun ride.  It was a bouncy ride and I really didn't care. I didn't care if parts were flying off the boat, I just wanted to get him in," recalled Irwin King.

Parker had a towel wrapped around his arm and chest for the ride.

"Every time we hit a wave it stung a little bit but didn't really hurt that much," Parker King said.

"I was praying that he wasn't going to run out of blood," said Irwin King.

Now, 27 staples and 17 stitches later, Parker is out of the hospital and recovering from a fight that nearly cost him his life. He said that's all thanks to his dad.

"He basically saved my life," Parker King said.

"The fish won on that one. He got us, he got Parker. He was a champ, I mean, he was a champ," said Irwin King.

Even though King said it was a scary experience, he said he plans on going fishing in the future.

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