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. Grimshawn

    Jaws...Roy Scheider...Scheider..Roy...SCHRODER!!

    July 21, 2011 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  2. Ally

    Maybe the shark was attempting suicide. They could have just helped the brotha out.

    July 21, 2011 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  3. ZOOMER165


    July 21, 2011 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
  4. JFK

    I think they're going to need a Bigger Boat.

    July 21, 2011 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
    • petercha

      LOL! Like your sense of humor, JFK!

      July 21, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Hasher Iva

      ROFL. Yep, sharky was just trying to say, "Thanks for all the fish."

      July 21, 2011 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Seymour Butz


      July 21, 2011 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
    • SNL

      KNOCK KNOCK......errr....ahhhh CANDYGRAM

      July 21, 2011 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
  5. KC

    I like how it looks like the shark got caught with his nose in the chumbox... haha
    Great story

    July 21, 2011 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
  6. Bolaji09

    "...where the shark regained strength and swam away." to kill a man some other day – what a story.

    July 21, 2011 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Captain

      Shark was sensing the fat/blood. Was not in search of human being..
      Sharks need to eat as well as anything else alive. Sharks do not bite human unless they mistake them for a sea lion, seal,...

      You've been watching way too many Hollywood movies..

      July 21, 2011 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      You have any idea how rare shark attacks are? More people are killed by being crushed by vending machines then from sharks.

      July 21, 2011 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Farmer Dave

      [quote]Mike wrote

      You have any idea how rare shark attacks are? More people are killed by being crushed by vending machines then from sharks.[/quote]

      Oh come on. I haven't killed anyone iwth a vending machine in years.

      July 21, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Eddy

    yea the shark survive to kill another human.i wonder if the scientist r so sure that shark don't eat human why they don't swim with them like a dolphin. or a whale?

    July 21, 2011 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
    • sharkweek

      I understand you're not very intelligent, but please try to keep up here. If sharks went around actively hunting humans, there would be a lot more shark attacks reported than there are. This is not new knowledge. Read a book, or, hey, switch the channel over to animal planet or discovery and stay away from nickelodeon and the food network for a change.

      July 21, 2011 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Captain

      It's because of their brain functionality and size ...
      They are not like Dolphins or Killer whales that are extremely intelligent. You see one has to have the capacity to be trained. Search for my videos playing with wild dolphins out in open water on youtube. Search words "Captain Reza Dolphin Show" . Dolphins are extremely intelligent and curios animals where sharks not so much...

      July 21, 2011 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  8. LuvmySS

    They are lucky that only the fuel lines were damaged, this could have turned out so much differently had this not been shark researchers on this boat...

    July 21, 2011 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Playjojo

      So true. But then again, if it were just some idiots out there chumming, they wouldn't have known what to do with something that size suddenly in their boat, they're just killers, not big in the brains. I loved the line, "Tried to walk the animal into deeper water." What a hoot! Come on fishie!

      July 21, 2011 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  9. vharmony

    A Happy Ending for all

    July 21, 2011 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  10. fiskenmann

    Good thing there were no congressman on board or else they would have "cut, cap and balanced" that shark!

    July 21, 2011 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Chuck F

      Great Line!!!!!

      July 21, 2011 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  11. Benny boy

    i would've shot the thing myself. isn't south africa where most people get attacked by sharks?

    July 21, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Playjojo

      How about you just stay out of the water like a good boy.

      July 21, 2011 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe Cox

      Well it's a good thing you weren't on the boat. To kill a magnificent creature over a freak occurence. You probably tortured and killed animals as kid. Another worthless human being with no positive contribution to the human race. Set yourself on fire and have a nice day.

      July 21, 2011 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  12. sujith

    ...and bystanders are still puzzled about the "i'm on a boat, i'm on a boat...." humming

    July 21, 2011 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  13. Oodoodanoo

    Was probably a beach bum in a previous life, and just wanted to get back in time for happy hour.

    July 21, 2011 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  14. Shirley

    What a cool story! Great that no one got hurt and the shark survived.

    July 21, 2011 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  15. M

    Nobody wondered what that shark had been through to deliberately attempt to end its life twice on the same day. It'll probably try it again – far away from these interferring researchers.

    July 21, 2011 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
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