Great White shark jumps into boat

Breaching shark gives researchers more than they bargained for

Author: Pat
2nd February 2012
 

A Great White shark gave researchers a surprise when it jumped onto the back of their boat.

The huge fish in question measured three metres in length and weighed approximately half a tonne (500kg).

Six researchers were onboard the vessel Cheetah as it studied sharks off Seal Island, Mossel Bay on the coast of South Africa.

The team had been chumming the water to encourage sharks into the area in order to study them.

Great White sharks often leap out of the water – known as breaching – as part of their hunting tactic. Fish and seals are taken in surprise attacks from beneath following an upward burst of speed.

In this instance, the shark clearly misjudged the landing and found itself trapped on the back of the boat.

None of the ship’s crew was injured, but the shark was unable to slide back into the water and thrashed around on the deck, damaging fuel lines and equipment.

Water was poured over its gills while the ship returned to harbour, where attempts to return it to the sea eventually succeeded.

The researchers said afterwards they had been given the “fright of their lives.”

 
 
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