News Australasia

Saturday 16 December 2017

'Just a mundane thing': Great white shark jumps into Australian pensioner's boat

The shark lies on the bottom of the fisherman's boat Photo: ABC News/Twitter
The shark lies on the bottom of the fisherman's boat Photo: ABC News/Twitter

Chris Graham

An elderly Australian fisherman has described the "mundane" moment when a great white shark jumped aboard his boat.

Terry Selwood (73) escaped with just a swollen arm when the creature launched itself onto his vessel as he was fishing near Evans Head in New South Wales on Saturday.

"I caught a blur of something coming over the boat … and the pectoral fin of the shark hit me on the forearm and knocked me down on the ground to my hands and knees," Mr Selwood told ABC News.

"He came right over the top of the motor and then dropped onto the floor."

Mr Selwood estimated the shark measured 2.7 metres, while his boat is just 4.4 metres long. "I couldn't get out quick enough onto the gunnel," he said.

He was rescued by local marine rescue volunteers, who also brought the boat and shark ashore.

The Department of Primary Industries (DPI) informed him it was a great white after taking it away - with help from a forklift - for an autopsy.

Mr Selwood admitted he had not experienced anything like that in 60 years of fishing.

"I've had 'em come up and brush the side of my boat, I've had a white pointer swim around my boat, I've had 'em take fish off my line, but I've never had one do this," he said.

However, he insisted the incident wouldn't put him off going out into the water again.

"It won't deter me from fishing, no way in the world," he said. "Really, it's not a great story, it's just a mundane thing that just happened and it's over and done with, but something that I'll remember."

It was the second close encounter an Australian fisherman has had with a great white shark in 10 days.

Almost two weeks ago, a trawlerman in South Australia tussled with a great white and told it to 'f--- off' after it tried to steal fish from his catch.

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