Florida Fisherman Accused of Stabbing Captain

Robert Odom (booking photo courtesy Santa Rosa County Sheriff)

Published Oct 2, 2019 9:27 PM by The Maritime Executive

The U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service has arrested a 46-year-old Florida fisherman who allegedly attacked his captain with a knife and a pellet gun. 

On September 27, fisherman Robert Odom was working aboard a commercial fishing vessel in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, about 25 nm off the Florida Panhandle. According to a crewmate who provided testimony to a CGIS investigating officer, Odom developed the impression 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 U.S. Coast Guard. The master and second crewmember then locked themselves inside the wheelhouse and waited for the USCG to arrive. When Coast Guard responders arrived on the scene, they provided the master with first aid, then evacuated 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 Coast Guard Investigative Service, 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.