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Waianae kayak fisherman becomes overnight YouTube star

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  • In this image taken from a YouTube video

The YouTube video of Isaac Brumaghim’s encounter with a shark off Waianae has gone viral, with more than 2 million views as of this morning.

The 1-minute video was featured on the home page of You Tube today and has been receiving international attention, including from the Associated Press, CNN and scores of other major media outlets.

The kayak fisherman had hoped the video of his near-encounter with a shark would help to promote the sport of kayak fishing and secure endorsements for his “Makahiki” fishing tournament.

But Brumaghim never imagined that the video showing a shark leaping out of the water after his catch, would go viral — skyrocketing from 300 to more than 1 million views in roughly 24 hours, making him an overnight YouTube star.

“Right now, I think we’ve got a lot of leverage,” he said.

Reporters from all over the world are calling, including from Germany and Indonesia.

He was scheduled to be interviewed via Skype by the Huffington Post and the Weather Channel and received a call from a producer of ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer.

He also got a call Thursday from Ocean Kayak’s marketing manager offering him a free kayak to help promote kayak fishing in Hawaii.

Brumaghim said the video is a blessing that he hopes will get viewers to look at other kayak fishing events on YouTube and promote his fishing tournament, which runs from Feb.1 through Sept. 1.

His wife Juanita Aguerrebere, who helps him with Internet communications and marketing, said both have barely slept.

“It’s been crazy, but good,” Aguerrebere said.

She said people have e-mailed her husband about kayak fishing.

“People are asking what kind of kayak do you own and what fishing reel were you using …That’s definitely cool,” she said.

Brumaghim was a couple of miles off west Oahu participating in his kayak fishing tournament on Sunday, when a 9-foot Galapagos shark jumped out of the water a few yards to the rear of the kayak and took the fish on his line.

His camera mounted at the front of the canoe recorded the action as he paused to gather his thoughts, inched toward the middle of the canoe for better stability, and uttered a few descriptive words.

Brumaghim said he’d like to continue to build a league of kayak fishing enthusiasts and hopes there might be a reality TV show eventually about kayak fishing.

“We’re here to stay and to build kayak fishing globally,” he said.

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