KOKADJO, Maine –
A Massachusetts man may have some reservations about the Maine state slogan ‘Vacationland.’ Thomas Ruhle of Taunton, Massachusetts, had to prematurely end his week-long trip to a lake in Maine after getting caught in a bloody mess – a freak fishing accident caused Ruhle to rip off the head of his penis.
According to Ruhle, he and his girlfriend, Miranda Tate, were fishing when her line became entangled in weeds and branches, and after whining and tugging, she was unsuccessful in freeing it.
“She threw her pole down in a huff, demanding to leave, and in an attempt to salvage the evening, I went in after the hook. I now wish I had thought to reel in my own line,” said Ruhle. “After stripping down to my boxer shorts, I waded over to where the line was tangled. I didn’t notice that my line had drifted closer, and my hook was resting on the crotch of my shorts.”
Getting frustrated with the tangle, Ruhle pulled on the wrong line and felt the hook stab into the head of his penis.
“I honestly thought something bit me, like a snapping turtle or something, and I sorta yanked the line out of reflex, and it dragged the barbs deeper in,” said Ruhle. “[It] wasn’t until I reached down that I knew what happened.” After screaming and pleading with his girlfriend, who thought he was overreacting, she reluctantly entered the water to bring him his knife, and he was able to cut himself free.
Kokadjo is a small village past Moosehead Lake in northern Maine, centered around a general store that was closed for the evening. Without cell service the couple was unable to call for help. Carl Rogers, a gas station attendant in Greenville, Maine, was shocked when the couple sped into his parking lot.
“Apparently, in a panic, this guy’s girlfriend sped towards town, and by the time they reached my station, the dude had gone into shock,” said Rogers. “I saw their new Prius when they pulled in, and man, I never seen so much blood in my life. It had soaked right into the passenger seat. We called 911, and they air-lifted him to Bangor right outta the parking lot here.”
Doctor Mark Gerard, a surgeon at Bangor Medical Center, said he had never seen anything so violent happen to a man who was fishing.
“His efforts to free himself did more harm than good, and he will require plastic surgery to regain full functionality of his penis. How much we can do to restore a normal shape will really depend on what type of insurance he has,” said Dr. Gerard. “In the mean time, we’ve warned him not to think of anything sexual that might ‘excite’ him in any way.”
Jerry Miller, a member of the Greenville, Maine fire and rescue team who responded said, “I cringe thinking of it. It was mangled and swollen like something had chewed it. First time with a fishin’ pole, I recon.”
“I’ve fished before. I’m from Taunton, not the Bronx,” said Ruhle. “With Miranda squawking, I just can’t think straight sometimes, ya’ know. She’d been bitchin’ since we left home.”
Tate, who Ruhle says is now his ex-girlfriend, explains it all a little differently. “We had such a hard time tying the hook on in the first place, and he was too stubborn to cut the damn line. Wouldn’t listen at all. If he had been paying attention to me, we wouldn’t have gone to the middle of nowhere on vacation. F— Maine. ‘The Way Life Should Be‘ my achin’ ass.”