Body recovered from Agana Boat Basin identified; longtime fisherman remembered

PNC photo by Jolene Toves

The fishing community has lost one of its own to the water.

On Thursday evening, as the sun was setting, a body was pulled from the waters at Agana Boat Basin. That fisherman has been identified as Victor Damian. PNC spoke with fellow fisherman and long-time friend Johnny Atulai Taitano who has known Damian for 50 years.

“He was a very familiar face around the boat basin, a very noticeable person. real nice. He was a very good fisherman. He could make the rod and reel dance, throw a net, catch octopus and the nice thing about Vic, in a crowd, you can distinguish him in a heartbeat,” Taitano said.

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Damian shared his knowledge of fishing with everyone especially the youth. Taitano says Damian could point out fishing spots all across the island.

“I’ve seen him throw the line out and have a little boy bring it in. He was a very warm person. This island is going to miss him,” Taitano said.

Damian comes from a family of fishermen. Taitano said he knew Damian’s brother and father and each of them has a specialty when it came to catching fish.

“Every fisherman has a trait. His father was a Tiao fisherman and he taught his sons well. Vic was very unique, very humble, and very loud! If we were sitting over on the side he would tease me while I’m out catching manahak…’you’re not Johnny Atulai, you’re Johnny Manahak now!’ lanai lai Vic,” Taitano said.

He added: “His specialty was reef fish, mind you, that this is where I’m thinking about how he met his demise whether it was a heart attack or stroke. If you took his profile and looked at him, you remember the old nickel? Indian nickel heads I swear they took a picture of him and put it on the nickel, looked like an Indian, for years everyone called him Chief.”

Taitano described Damian as being a lean mean fishing machine, with not an ounce of fat on him. He was well known for wearing a white t-shirt or tank top with blue Levi’s jeans tucked into his white socks. He was an avid fisherman who didn’t know how to swim. Taitano says that he wonders how the Lord took him, stating that no one would ever harm him as he was such a likable and yet reclusive individual.


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Jolene joined the PNC team in 2017, as a producer, co-anchor and investigative reporter covering law enforcement, courts and crimes. Notable coverage includes the Ehlert case, the Mark Torre Jr. trial, the Allan Agababa trial, exclusive pieces on the Life of a Drug Dealer/Addict, and Life behind bars...the story of Honofre Chargualaf and Kevin Cruz. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant News Director and Lead Anchor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as Public Relations and Promotions Manager, for the Hotel Nikko Guam handling local radio and advertorial promotions, as well as produced and directed tv commercials for the hotel. Prior to this she worked with KUAM for three years as a reporter and segment host. She began her journalism career in 2012, working with Glimpses of Guam contributing to the Guam Business Magazine, R&R magazine, MDM magazine and the Marianas Business Journal.