A FISHERMAN was almost the catch of the day after a nine-foot great white shark jumped into his boat on the north coast of New South Wales in Australia.
Terry Selwood, 73, was fishing at Evans Head on Saturday when a great white shark soared over the motor onto the floor of his boat.
Mr Selwood told The Daily Telegraph the shark, which weighed 200kg and was 2.7m long, struck while he was fishing at his usual spot, located just off the shore at the town of Evans Head.
He said: “I was fishing out there on Saturday afternoon, just sitting on my ice box.
“I felt my line move and I thought I had a bite.”
“I saw a blur out of the corner of my eye and instinctively I stuck my arm out. The shark’s pectoral fin hit me on my arm and I fell backwards on my hands and knees.
“I didn’t know what happened and then I looked over to the side and I saw a bloody shark in my boat. It was thrashing all over the place.
“I grabbed onto the rocket launcher that goes across the top of the boat, and stepped on top of the gunwale.
“My arm was swollen, I thought it was broken.
“I grabbed my handheld radio and called in, I said I’m in trouble and I’ve got a shark in my boat.
“They took me to the hospital and when they asked me what happened, I said a shark jumped in my boat.
“They thought I was joking, they thought I might be drunk, saying ‘yeah yeah what a story to tell’.”
Mr Selwood said he sees a lot of sharks at his usual fishing spot.
“I’ve had them brush by the side of my boat, I see them put their heads out of the water.
“But they don’t usually jump in people’s boats.”
The shark had to be taken off the boat using a forklift. An autopsy will now be carried out.
This incident comes off the back of the state government’s decision to remove shark nets off five north coast beaches — including Evans Head — because they are worried about migrating whales being caught in them.
The government will start removing the nets from beaches around the area today.
Genevieve Francis was down at the beach with friends watching the sunset when she saw a Marine Rescue boat shoot past.
The group went over to the harbour to see what was going on, and saw Mr Selwood step off the rescue boat with blood all over his arms.
Marine Rescue brought him back to shore before going to retrieve his boat and its unexpected passenger.
“The Marine Rescue boat then went over to Khaos Reef and towed Terry’s boat back in,” the 25-year-old said.
“We followed it around and helped Terry’s family pull the boat onto the ramp. When we looked inside the boat, there was a huge shark.
“The shark had the chair in its mouth where Terry would have been sitting. He was just pulling his line in when the shark jumped over the engine and launched itself into the boat.”
The experienced fisherman has since returned home and said the close shave would not stop him returning to the water.
New South Wales Game Fishing Association’s president Garry Chenoweth said the incident is a “freak anomaly”.
“We’ve had some pretty close calls with sharks over the years,” Mr Chenoweth said.
“We’ve had them breach out of the water. But this is a new one.
“That’s not something I would enjoy.
“There will be more and more interaction with great whites over the next five years because their population has increased tenfold over the past 10 years.
“Their numbers have come back really well and strong, especially in the certain areas that people know, in their breeding and feeding grounds.”
The terrifying power of sharks was laid bare in the heart-stopping moment a great white’s head slams into a diving cage, breaking through the metal bars.
The huge creature can be seen swimming around the viewing cage, off Guadalupe Island, Mexico, when it lunges for some bait at the surface.