By Sophie Norris
A boat captain has revealed eye-watering footage of the moment he got a fishing hook through his EYELID – but managed to keep his cool while a pal struggled to extract the barb.
Captain Chris Sheeder had been on an annual fishing holiday with his wife in Alaska, US, when he did a bad cast in anger after missing a big fish that left him with the hook pierced through his eyelid’s flesh.
The 45-year-old claims he was ‘lucky’ not to have been blinded by the freak accident – however admits it was bad luck that he did not have his usual sunglasses on as it had rained.
In the gruesome footage, a friend uses the string-yank technique to tease the hook back out of Chris’ flesh, which involves a piece of fishing line being tied around the middle-point of the hook’s bend – before yanking it out.
Now Chris is sharing the grisly scene to spare other tourists who take part in fishing to wear eye protection to avoid a worse fate.
Chris, from Hawaii, said: “It was a scary moment and hospital was not an option as we were hundreds of miles out.
“I’ve seen this type of thing many times and have taken hooks out of my mates many times, but never from their eyelids.
“I cringed and got hit in the face. It took me a moment to realize my fly was no longer attached to my line and I could now see it dangling off my cheek.
“I followed the line with my fingers and found the hook in my eyelid.
“Panic set in for a moment but I could still see and I kept telling myself that to calm down.
“I then calmly walked up to our guide who was helping my wife [Elisa, 32], keeping my distance to not freak her out, and with a calm, low tone asked him if he could remove a hook from my eyelid.
“Elisa thought I was joking at first. She started panicking when she figured it out, which didn’t help me.
“She then walked right up to me and asked ‘does it hurt?’ I told her ‘no, it tickles’.”
Chris was travelling to a remote river in Alaska to spot brown bears and eagles, and fish salmon and trout when the accident happened.
He claims the only reason he wasn’t wearing the glasses was because it was raining and he’d taken them off for just a moment to wipe off the raindrops before forgetting to put them back on.
Chris believes he could have easily lost his eye sight but it was the realisation that he could still see that helped him remain calm.
Now he is urging others who go fishing to always wear protect glasses to avoid serious injury.
Chris said: “It is ironic that I got hit by a hook when I am such a stickler to always have my sunglasses on. Everyone needs to wear eye protection when fishing.
“I broke the rule and payed a price. I got lucky because it easily could have been way worse.
“We were on a fly in to a remote river surrounded by wildlife, eagles, salmon, trout and over a dozen brown bears but there were no hospital for hundreds of miles.
“I always have Costa Sunglasses on and in fact I’m a huge stickler for wearing them for safety, but it was raining and I took them off for a moment to wipe off the raindrops and for some reason didn’t put them back on.
“I then missed a big fish and began waving my rod around in disgust and a few four-letter words might have flown out as well, but I then tried to power through a bad cast.
“As soon as I did, I knew I’d messed up and I could hear my fly-line coming at me fast.”
Luckily, Chris is an expert in the field, gaining his captain’s licence at just 21-years-old so along with their expedition guide, he was able to remove the hook safely.
The removal technique requires the first-aider to press the eye of the hook parallel to the skin, before quickly yanking on the line while still applying pressure.
He was left with just a black eye and is thankful that the hook didn’t pierce even a centimetre lower as it could have made him blind.
Chris said: “Myself and the guide then discussed a technique to extract a hook with a barb from flesh, using a piece of fishing line.
“You wrap the bend of the hook and pull on the tag-end while pushing down on the eye of the hook.
“I sat down and we proceeded while my wife took the video.
“The system of extraction allows the hook to exit how it entered and slides the barb threw the hole it came in on without grabbing any flesh.
“There was some blood and it ended up looking like a black eye, but after a cleaning I was back to fishing within 10 minutes.”