Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Titan Trigger Fish Attack

I had an interesting dive experience on Columbus Day! I realize that whenever you dive with a bunch of Bloggers you are in for an adventure and there will definitely be different online tales told . . . so here is mine!

Jeff invited me to go on the Aqua Jet for an afternoon boat dive with Bruce and Rose.
Our boat ride out to Naftan Point and Boy Scout was rough. The waves were huge but we were still lucky enough to end up with sunny skies. We were the only four customers and we had the entire boat to ourselves.

I went diving at Naftan Point with Greg a couple of months ago and I have to say that I wasn’t really thrilled about this dive site. Perhaps I'm alittle spoiled from the wall diving I did in Palau. Since I was the only one that did Naftan Point before they made me navigate this dive. So we dropped in about 80 feet and I led them along the wall. I was disappointed because there wasn’t a lot of coral to look at so I was just searching for Nudibranchs the entire dive. We reached about half tank and started heading back to our boat. On the way back to the boat we stumbled across this Fish that I thought was a baby Napoleon Wrasse. I was just looking at his lips and didn't realize he didn't have a hump on his head. I need to seriously work on my fish i.d. because this was actually a Titan Trigger Fish but of course I didn’t know that at the time. I thought it would be as friendly as the Napoleon Wrasse that we were petting in Palau so I didn’t think anything of it. Looks so innocent right? Not! This picture doesn't do it justice because it was huge! It must of been a 30 pounder atleast 3 feet long and 2 feet wide.



Would you get a look at this Titan Trigger fish giving me the old evil eye? I should have known something was up. Here’s some advice. When you come across a Titan Trigger fish swim the other way as fast as you can!! I had never heard about how aggressive these fish can be. I was about 10 ft away from this fish using my zoom lens to take pictures. What I didn’t know was while I was taking pictures of this fish Jeff and Rose were being attacked by another Titan Trigger Fish behind me! They both have bites on their legs. Jeff’s bite broke through the skin and was bleeding.
Luckily Rose was wearing her skin suit and only obtained a 3 x 2 bruise on her leg. Unaware of what is going on behind me I still continue to take pictures of this fish from a distance. Next thing I know the fish looks right at me and I kid you not darts quickly towards me like a little torpedo. It was that fast! All I could remember thinking was “Lanya!” and screamed underwater so loud that Rose heard me! We must have been about 40-50 feet. My quick gut reaction was to block my stomach by quickly swinging my camera downward. The Titan Trigger fish ended up running into my camera and left some teeth marks on my filter lens. Nice I know! Worst was I wasn’t wearing my wet suit because Jeff and Bruce were teasing me that I looked like at “tourist” and it was so hot that day. So that fish could of really torn my skin up. Rose was a great dive buddy and was hitting the fish with her slate board to back him away. We quickly exited that area. My heart was racing! Grrrrr. I’m never going back to Naftan again.

I did a little research on this fish and realized that this fish can do some real damage to you and can even kill you if your not careful. Usually they easily feel threatened and territorial if you are near their nest. That is probably what happened. Anyway, now I’m more afraid of the Titan Trigger Fish than sharks. Phew, we made it safely to the boat. Still can’t believe that happened. Despite the attacks I still had a great day of diving.Here's a picture of a Nudibranch we found. Too bad too sad its blurry! Deal=P

11 comments:

CNMI Blogger said...

Geesh! What a welcome home, Bev. Glad you guys are okay. That's a scarry experience.

Bruce A. Bateman said...

Between bites on Jess and Rose, the other Trigger was nibbling on your fins, Bev. Take a look and I bet you'll find the marks. Better your flippers than your toes.

Nice photos.

Lets all go to Tinian next time.

Lewie Tenorio said...

do-dot-dodot Just when you thought it was safe to get back into the water...do-dot-dodot...
Talk about marine protected areas! F&W should hire more titan trigger fish.

Ken & Crystal said...

Scarey Bev! Those titans are bad ones. Glad you're still alive ;-) xo

John Dax said...

Nasty Titans! They do get protective of their territories esp. during breeding season so stay clear if you see one again. Looking at their big teeth, I am sure it is possible to lose a finger or toe, but I don't think they can kill a person. They could be ciguateric in certain areas but I don't think that type of poisoning is fatal neither. Keep safe.

Deece said...

Oh my gosh! Glad you're ok. See, that is exactly why I don't dive. or swim. or get in the ocean past my knees. ;)

Mr. Graves said...

Glad you made it out alive.

Bruce A. Bateman said...

Deece, If you only go in up to your knees, you can't see the sharks attacking to bite off your ankles. (:-))

Sean said...

Wow. But wasn't the picture worth it? ;)

urgh said...

I have a similar experience from Egypt. This is a very aggresive bitch!

Anonymous said...

I have been chased by a few here on Christmas Island, luckily never been bitten.They have extreemly strong teeth and jaws. Definitely more scary than sharks!