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The 1998 Darwin Award Nominees

Ljubljana, Slovenia – A passionate angler at an eastern Slovenian lake caught a fish so big that he drowned trying to reel it in, the state-run news agency reported Tuesday.

Determined to land the sheatfish, a typoe of catfish, the 47-year-old fisherman walked into the lake after hooking it and refused to let go when it pulled him under, the STA news agency, quoted a friend of Franc Filipic as saying.

The friend, who was not identified, said Filipic’s last words before he drowned were: “Now I’ve got him!”

Police and divers found his body after a two-day search. The fish was not found.

In unincorporated Fox Lake, Illinois, 28-year-old Daniel Wyman drowned after he and a companion inadvertently blew a hole in the bottom of their boat with an M-250 firecracker. The M-250 firecracker is the equivalent of one-fourth of a stick of dynamite. Daniel Wyman and his friend threw the firecracker into the water near their 14-foot aluminum rowboat. The boat was caught by a gust of wind that pushed the boat over the explosive. The boat was not equipped with life preservers; Wyman, who could not swim, drowned when the boat sank. His companion swam to shore and was taken to Northern Illinois Medical Center in McHenry for observation.

Fox Lake Fire Capt. Thomas Preidis said that the device probably had floated back to the surface when it exploded; otherwise the cushion of water between the explosive and the boat probably would have prevented a breach of the hull.

“We really don’t know why it happened,” Preidis said. “It’s getting close to the 4th of July, and people like to blow off fireworks. When you throw an M-250 in the water it makes a nice big geyser. Then again, they may have been trying to scare fish to the surface.”

BUXTON, N.C. A man died on a beach when an 8-foot-deep hole he had dug into the sand caved in as he sat inside it. Beachgoers said Daniel Jones,21, dug the hole for fun, or protection from the wind, and had been sitting in a beach chair at the bottom Thursday afternoon when it collapsed, burying him beneath 5 feet of sand. People on the beach on the Outer Banks used their hands and shovels, trying to claw their way to Jones, a resident of Woodbridge, Va., but could not reach him. It took rescue workers using heavy equipment almost an hour to free him while about 200 people looked on. Jones was pronounced dead at a hospital. You just wouldn’t believe the outpouring of concern, people digging with their hands, using pails from kids,” Dare County Sheriff Bert Austin said.

In February, Santiago Alvarado, 24, was killed in Lompoc, Calif., as he fell face-first through the ceiling of a bicycle shop he was burglarizing. Death was caused when the large flashlight he had placed in his mouth (to keep his hands free) crammed against the base of his skull as he hit the floor.

According to police in Dahlonega, Ga., ROTC cadet Nick Berrena, 20, was stabbed to death in January by fellow cadet Jeffrey Hoffman, 23, who was trying to prove that a knife could not penetrate the flak vest Berrena was wearing.

Sylvester Briddell, Jr., 26, was killed in February in Selbyville, Del., as he won a bet with friends who said he would not put a revolver loaded with four bullets into his mouth and pull the trigger.

In February, according to police in Windsor, Ont., Daniel Kolta, 27, and Randy Taylor, 33, died in a head-on collision, thus earning a tie in the game of chicken they were playing with their snowmobiles.

A 49-year-old San Francisco stockbroker, who “totally zoned when he ran,” according to his wife, accidentally jogged off of a 200-foot-high cliff on his daily run.

In Detroit, a 41-year-old man got stuck and drowned in two feet of water after squeezing headfirst through an 18-inch-wide sewer grate to retrieve his car keys.

A 7-year- old boy fell off a 100-foot-high bluff near Ozark, Ark., after he lost his grip swinging on a cross that marked the spot where another person had fallen to his death in 1990.

A WWII-vintage bomb dug up from under a house in the Philippines exploded Monday, December 7, 1998, killing the owner of the house and three others. Philippine police said that carpenters were installing a septic tank 15 DAYS AGO when the found a bomb under the house in Tacloban, 360 miles southeast of Manila. The 1,000-pound bomb went off as they were tinkering with it, instantly killing the four and destroying the house.

When someone “tinkers” with a 1,000 pound bomb for 15 days they deserve to be removed from the gene pool, and the great news is that four geniuses were removed!

This page was last updated January 1, 2004.