A Florida fisherman who allegedly attacked his captain with a knife and a pellet gun has been arrested by the US Coast Guard Investigative Service. On September 27th 46-year-old fisherman Robert Odom was working aboard a commercial fishing vessel in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, about 25nm off the Florida Panhandle.
A crewmate who provided testimony to a CGIS investigating officer said that Odom became convinced that the captain and the crewmate were planning to kill him. Odom climbed up onto the top of the wheelhouse, and when the master went up to confront him, he allegedly shot the master in the chest with a pellet gun. Odom allegedly proceeded to cut the master twice with a large knife, resulting in profuse bleeding.
The master told investigators that he got away from Odom, climbed down from the wheelhouse roof and radioed the US Coast Guard. The master and second crewmember then locked themselves inside the wheelhouse and waited for the USCG to arrive.
Coast Guard responders who arrived on the scene were able to provide the master with first aid before evacuating him to shore for emergency treatment. After reaching the pier he was flown to a hospital in Pensacola for further care.
The fishing vessel was brought back to port at Pensacola, Florida, where Odom was evaluated by medical personnel. He was turned over to officers with the CGIS, who brought him to the local county sheriffs’ office for holding pending trial in federal court.
Odom has been charged with one count of assault with a dangerous weapon.