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Sea lion yanked man overboard, took him 20 feet underwater

This Sunday, April 5, 2015, photo by Trish

This Sunday, April 5, 2015, photo by Trish Carlin shows Dan Carlin holding a recently-caught yellowtail at the moment a sea lion leaped up to grab the fish -- and him -- at Mission Bay in San Diego, yanking him overboard. Photo Credit: AP / Trish Carlin

SAN DIEGO - A San Diego man is still recovering more than three weeks after a sea lion leaped 7 feet from the water, locked onto his hand holding a yellowtail fish and yanked him overboard.

Dan Carlin told The Associated Press on Wednesday that his wife had just told him to smile for the photo on their 29-foot boat when he was pulled overboard, smashed into the boat's side, and taken some 20 feet underwater.

The 62-year-old accountant says the animal whipped him side to side.

Carlin says he thought he was going to die until he was released more than 15 seconds later. The sea lion bit him on his foot as he swam away.

He spent two days in the hospital. His hand required 20 stitches.

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