Great white shark battles fisherman in tug of war over net; video

For the first time in 30 years of commercial fishing in Australia, David Wilks did the unthinkable: He played tug of war with a great white shark that refused to let go of his fishing net.

"Dad was just holding on to the net trying to pull it from the shark," David's 20-year-old son Nic told Caters News, as reported by the Mirror. "Every time he pulled the net the shark wouldn't let go. This went on for about a minute or so.

"It was like playing tug of war with a dog."

The incident occurred off the coast of Port Pirie, South Australia, in December, but footage was just released by Nic on Instagram and licensed by Caters:

Nic, a game store employee who also works with his dad as a fisherman, explained to Caters that the great white shark swam into their net full of snapper and was eating the fish.

"We didn't want him getting tangled as they're a protected species so dad tried to roll him out of the net, but he stayed swimming around and as the circle got smaller he got caught once again," Nic told Caters.

"Dad tried to roll him out again, but he came back and was hanging around so dad reached into the water and gave him a quick jab on the nose thinking that would stun him and make him bugger off.

"It didn't go to plan because the shark didn't like that. It went crazy and just attacked and started biting the net."

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Wilks, 46, told Caters the great white shark, estimated to be 10 feet and weigh 600 pounds, "went ballistic and tried to rip the net out of my hands."

It was only when Wilks loosened his grip on the net that the great white shark finally let go and swam off.

"I was really impressed by the way he handled the whole situation because it could have been a lot worse," Nic said. "All the fish could have been let out of the net, and if the shark had got into the boat or one of us had fallen into the water it might've been different."

Wilks added that "no sharks were harmed in the making of the video. It was just a bit of fun and it was lucky Nic was filming."