Great white shark leaps into old man′s boat | Environment| All topics from climate change to conservation | DW | 29.05.2017
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Environment

Great white shark leaps into old man's boat

"I'll be b---ered there's a shark in me boat," the 73-year-old Australian reported thinking after a giant shark sprang aboard. New South Wales Marine Rescue captured photos of the shark.

A 73-year-old Australian fisherman was left bloody and bruised after a great white shark unexpectedly jumped out of the water and in to his boat at the weekend.

Terry Selwood was sitting alone on a cooler box on the deck of his 4.5-meter (15-foot) boat when, without warning, a 2.7-meter (9-foot) great white shark jumped out of the water.

Read: Sharks scare off surfers in Orange County

It cleared the engine and landed on the deck where it violently thrashed about, he told rescuers.

It knocked Selwood over and he was thrown about the deck and cabin. He was eventually able to climb onto the gunwale (top edge also known as a gunnel) of the boat where he radioed for help.

"I didn't give it a chance to look me in the eyes. I wanted to get up and get on top of the gunnel because it was thrashing around madly," Selwood told Australian Broadcasting Corporation. "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.'"

"I looked down and I thought 'I'll be buggered there's a shark in me boat.'"

Coast guard skipper Bill Bates told the Associated Press that he misread the danger when Selwood reported his predicament.

"He said, 'I'm injured, I've broken my arm, I've got lacerations and there's a shark in my boat,'" Bates said.

"Often a fisherman will bring a small shark on board - maybe 2 or 3 feet (up to 1 meter) - and they're still ferocious. That's what I was expecting, but I was totally wrong," he added.

Selwood was left with a badly bruised and bleeding right arm where the 200-kilogram (440-pound) shark struck him with a pectoral fin off Evans Head, 725 kilometers (450 miles) north of Sydney.

"The shark was thrashing inside the boat, taking up the entire deck area - there was no way you'd put a foot in there," Bates said.

Marine Rescue New South Wales later towed Selwood's boat with the shark still inside into Evans Head just before nightfall.

"We think it was already dead at that stage, but no one was game to put their finger in to find out," Bates said.

On Sunday morning rescuers handed the shark over to the Department of Primary Industries which verified it was a great white shark.

Great white sharks are can grow up to 6.1 meters (20 feet) long and are responsible for 80 of the 160 fatal, confirmed and unprovoked attacks since 1580, according to the International Shark Attack File at Florida Museum.

People are 132 times more likely to drown at the beach than be killed by a shark, according to the file.

In April a 17-year-old girl died after being attacked by a shark as she surfed with her father off Esperance in Western Australia.

Laeticia Brouwer's death was the first fatal shark attack in Australia this year after two fatal attacks last year, both in Western Australia, according to a database.

Australia is testing wider use of shark nets at the country's beaches while surfers are being drawn to new technology like board implants and wet suits that repel sharks.

In April police rescued a man after a shark bit the back off his kayak and left him sinking off Moreton Bay near Brisbane.

In February a spearfisher was badly mauled by either a bull shark or a tiger shark in northern Queensland leaving him in a serious condition.

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