Great white jumps on to research boat
The 1,100-pound great white shark sits in the stern of a South African research boat.
July 20th, 2011
01:15 PM ET

Great white jumps on to research boat

Shark researchers in South Africa didn't have to go far Tuesday to find a specimen - a 10-foot great white shark leaped into the back of their boat. And rather than a story of the big one that got away, this is a story of a big one they couldn't get rid of.

The boat, from Ocean's Research in Mossel Bay on South Africa's southern coast between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, was chumming in the waters around Seal Island and monitoring the activity of four sharks as part of an ongoing study, researchers reported on their blog.

“Next thing I know I hear a splash, and see a white shark breach out of the water from the side of the boat hovering, literally, over the crewmember who was chumming on the boat's port side,” field specialist Dorien Schroder wrote on the blog. He pulled the crewmember to safety while others jumped out of the way of the 1,100-pound shark.

Schroder said the shark landed with only half of its body on the boat, and the crew hoped it would slide off. This shark, however, wanted to hang around.

The shark thrashed about and became stuck in a 5-by-6.5-foot area on the stern of the boat, cutting the vessel's fuel lines in the process.

Schroder's crew on the Cheetah radioed for help from other researchers aboard the boat Laminade. Schroder poured water on the shark's gills to keep it alive as they waited 15 minutes for help to arrive. Researchers then tied a rope around the shark's tail and tried to use the Laminade to pull it off the Cheetah to no avail.

After the Laminade towed the Cheetah back to port, a water hose was inserted into the shark's mouth to keep it alive as a fishing boat used its crane to lift the animal by its tail and drop it in the harbor.

Shark tale over, right? Not quite.

About a half hour later, the researchers found the shark beached on a small area in the harbor.

Two researchers, Enrico Gennari and Ryan Johnson, tried to walk the animal into deeper water. The shark was having none of it, but the researchers weren't about to give up.

The attached ropes from their boat to the shark's tail and pectoral fins, tilted its head up so its gills could work properly, and towed it about a half-mile outside the harbor, where the shark regained strength and swam away.

Researchers were satisfied.

"It is impossible to predict everything that can happen," they said on the blog. "What is important is how you respond to such situation. No one was injured and the shark survived, this is a credit to our team, the port authorities and members of the community who assisted."

And they do have a whale of a shark story to tell their kids.

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Filed under: Animals • Sharks • South Africa
soundoff (343 Responses)
  1. xzor

    In South Africa, sharks research you!

    July 21, 2011 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  2. Wally

    Why don't we ever get videos of the cool stuff!? 🙂

    July 21, 2011 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  3. Sal Manilla

    I used to think sharks were the most fearless things in the water. Uh uh wrong! When a killer whale decides to have a go at huge Great white, guess who wins effortlessly? Hint not the Great white. Seems the Killer whales have a new technique that renders some species helpless "Tonic immobility". I watched a scene on a live video of a Killer whale that took a 2000 lb Great White flipped it over in the water like what the alligator wrestlers do when they rub the gators stomach to put them asleep. The Killer whale held the Great white upside down in its jaws and the not so Great white completely gave up and the Killer whale killed it no problem. Not only that, they also found out that other sharks can smell death and sensed that the Great white had been killed and completely left this area where they are known to hunt because they were scared Shi^less. The great whites apparently are only the tuff guys when they attack something smaller than their own size by surprise.Hats off to the "KILLER WHALES" .Way smarter than any stupid shark.To the self proclaimed expert on this post subject that said sharks only attack when they MISTAKE you for food. You are food to them you idiot.The next time you see a great white do yourself a favor and swim towards it.Then when it finally sees you, stop swimming so it can see and smell what you are.I can assure evryone that will be the last day anyone hears any of your B Ess comments. You go read a book idiot!

    July 21, 2011 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Roca

      dude u got way to much time on ur hands

      July 21, 2011 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Yes, an Orca will kill a GW, but they don't do it regularly. I've been surfing when there were definitely some sharks around and I've never been eaten... Maybe you should know what YOU're talking about too before you start trashing on others comments. After all, not everything is learned from a book. You go live some life idiot!

      July 21, 2011 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
    • L-ionT

      Wow, you guys most of you need lessons in how to be good people. We are all the same more than we would like to admit you act as if the eye can say to the hand that i have no need of you. Can’t we let someone have their opinion without tearing them down or making them feel stupid in some sort of way. . Try living by the golden rule and you should know what you sow is most certainly what you will reap.

      July 21, 2011 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Figge

      Isn't it fascinating how smart Orca Whales are? I always loved that too. And he doesn't have too much time on his hands Roca, he is an educated person who may have happened to watch Shark Week or heaven forbid, he read a book. The more educated you are, the more you become interested in subjects like the ones Sal Manilla is talking about.

      July 21, 2011 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Mick

      Wow, I've read some pretty disturbing things on here, before. But, dude, you are going to the top 10 list of "People who are angry and need mental help" . Do, all of us a favor on here, please. Just, stop commenting. Seriously, do you even realize, that you need help? Again...Wow!!!

      July 21, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • mojojo

      sorry Sal...but im too busy getting laid

      July 21, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Aaron

    BAHAHAHAHAHA!! I gotta say, CNN comments sections usually make me want to punch someone in the face, but this message thread has made me laugh out loud A LOT! "Oh who needs a hug? CHOMP!" BAHAHAHAHAHA

    July 21, 2011 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
    • bill

      Dude, you gotta push down and turn to open your medication bottle.

      July 21, 2011 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  5. Darrel

    Are you truly that uninformed or just stupid. And before you think I'm some liberal, I'm not and I'm an advid hunter and fisherman, but you don't kill just to kill- or we'd all be on the streets with a gun trying to thin out the "herd"

    July 21, 2011 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
    • peace

      I like that you say that you don't kill to kill...reverence for life is important regardless of what it is. If more hunters thought like you..
      I know someone that trapped and kill 13 bobcat because they are fur bearing animals..got into it with the conservation guy over it...I have never seen a bobcat in the wild and yet this person(s) were able to take 13 in one area..that doesn't seem like conservation to me, NO reverence for the animals at all. Tried explaining to them if you kill all then there are none to take care of the hurt or sick animals. Their response was "well it;'s legal" idiots! Thank you for your comment!

      July 21, 2011 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
    • BessBoll

      It IS legal. And you ARE an idiot.

      July 21, 2011 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
    • BobCat

      HeadLine..... Bobcat eats shark, hungry fisherman eats Bobcat. Details at 11

      July 21, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alyssa

      You know, there are liberals that hunt and fish as well. It's not the exclusive domain of the right.

      August 9, 2011 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
  6. Sam

    Are you for killing every animal that has been known to be dangerous to humans? since when is not butchering animals that are in their own environment not doing harm to any human a liberal philosophy anyway..

    July 21, 2011 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  7. Serdar

    Man- what a moron. How man times have you been attacked by a shark or met someone who has?

    July 21, 2011 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
    • McLovin

      Hey Serdar, how many times have you been attacked by a serial killer or met someone who has? Serial killers are fine!

      August 17, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mike

    Wow, you are truly ignorant. You have a better chance of dying walking down the street than you do from a shark. The sad thing is that you continue to help the perpetuate the myth that republicans are morons and are backwards. Next time you want to turn a shark story into something political go to the fox news blogs. They will lead with it and blame it the president.

    July 21, 2011 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  9. Sasha

    Really?! Your going to call it a killer man eating shark. You have seen too many movies. You should spend a little more time watching shark week on the discovery channel. This isn't a polical move, its saving a creature, a living things life. How would you feel if a cow came up to you a slit your throat. Then finished it off with "oh I had to, it was a cow killing human." lol Dont get me wrong, I eat meat also. Just imagine what they would say about us if they could blog and comment too.

    July 21, 2011 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  10. Nate

    perhaps we should kill every human then, since we are far more of a threat to the animal kingdom then they are to us.
    Coming from a conservative in canada.

    July 21, 2011 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
    • MikeN

      I thought humans were animals?

      July 21, 2011 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  11. Evian Bidet

    their efforts to save the animal should be commended.

    July 21, 2011 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      Their efforts should be condemned. They wasted manpower and resources which could be used for more important things then saving a shark who obviously should have died.

      July 21, 2011 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
    • bill

      And, Brian, you're the reason this planet is dying.

      July 21, 2011 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Roca

      Totally agree that it was a good thing–shark finning is out control and it's the least we could do to save the big guy. Waste of man power? There's six billion people on da planet, buddy boy.

      July 21, 2011 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Saleem

      Brian is a waste of manpower and resources.

      July 21, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Al Sanchez

    You've got a point. And I'm a liberal!!!

    Al Sanchez

    July 21, 2011 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  13. No

    Just wanted to say, I hope a shark eats you, and I hope its very slow.

    July 21, 2011 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  14. PK

    If you don't want to get eaten by a shark don't go in the Ocean... Its their home, not yours.

    July 21, 2011 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  15. Marie

    Captain Edward Low...Ignorance at its best...You do know someone has a better chance of being struck by lightening or having a plane crash into THEM before being killed by an actual GREAT WHITE SHARK...Actually most fatal shark attacks don't even involve a Great White...Please don't breed...We have enough ignorant people walking the planet who don't RESPECT the planet...Fail.

    July 21, 2011 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
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