Fishermen are notorious for telling tall tales, but a 73-year-old NSW man has an extraordinary story after a 2.7m great white shark, weighing 200kg, leapt into his boat.
Terry Selwood was enjoying a quiet day’s fishing off Evans Head on the NSW north coast on Saturday, May 27 when the shark suddenly jumped aboard his 4.5m boat.
‘‘He came right over the top of the motor and then dropped onto the floor,’’ Mr Selwood said.
The solo fisherman had been sitting on his esky and fishing with a hand line over both sides of the boat during perfectly still conditions.
One of the lines then made a bit of a jump and Mr Selwood thought he’d snagged a bite.
‘‘I jumped off the esky, I touched the line and I saw a blur out of the corner of my eyes.
‘‘I looked over and I thought, ‘Oh, a bloody shark! Well I’ll be buggered!’,’’ he said
The shocked fisherman was knocked over and left sprawling on the bottom of the boat.
‘‘There I was on all fours and he’s looking at me and I’m looking at him and then he started to do the dance around and shake and I couldn’t get out quick enough onto the gunwale,’’ Mr Selwood said.
‘‘I was losing a fair amount of blood, I was stunned, I couldn’t register what happened and then I thought, ‘Oh my God, I’ve got to get out of here’.’’
He grabbed his radio and called the sceptical local marine rescue volunteers at Evans Head who only believed the unlikely story when they saw it with their own eyes.
‘‘Oh my God! Look at that!’’ they said, according to Mr Selwood.
He said there was no way his 30-pound hand line could have pulled the animal into his boat.
After fishing for close to 60 years, he’s stumped for a reason why the shark would breach.
‘‘I didn’t have a burly out, which does attract sharks,’’ he said.
‘‘I was using two little bits of blue pilchard to fish for snapper on the bottom of the ocean, but that line was straight under the boat, not out the back where he came from.
‘‘For some unknown reason he just launched himself out of the water and he must have come up four feet out of the water to clear my outboard motor and dropped straight in the boat.’’
The Department of Primary Industries confirmed the shark was a great white, which has now been removed from the boat with a forklift and taken for an autopsy to confirm its age and gender.