An elderly fisherman in Australia was less than a mile off the coast of New South Wales in flat-calm seas Saturday when out of nowhere a great white shark made a shocking appearance.
Terry Selwood, 73, was sitting on a cooler in the middle of his boat with two handlines going straight to the bottom 40 feet below. He was hoping for snapper, and when one handline twitched, he thought maybe he had caught one, according to his interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corp.
The next thing he knew, a great white shark was flying into his boat.
“I just caught a blur out of the corner of my eye,” Selwood told ABC. “Just out of instinct I threw my right arm up, and this thing hit me in the forearm and spun me around and knocked me off my feet. I fell on the floor on my hands and knees and this thing was right beside me. I looked over and said, ‘Oh a bloody shark.’”
And a good-sized one at that. It measured 9 feet and weighed 440 pounds, so when it began thrashing about the 15-foot boat, Selwood was forced to find refuge on the boat’s gunnel.
“Well I’ll be buggered, there’s a shark in my boat!” Terry Selwood tells us how a 200kg great white shark ended up in his fishing boat. pic.twitter.com/HabXaDezkt
— ABC News (@abcnews) May 28, 2017
“I thought he actually broke my arm, but he hadn’t,” he told ABC. “He just badly bruised it and tore skin off, and being on blood thinners I bleed very profusely. I took a hanky from my pocket and wrapped it around as tight as I could to try to stop the bleeding. I hung on, grabbed my little radio and called the coast guard…
“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.’”
A unit from Marine Rescue New South Wales in Evans Head picked up Selwood and took him ashore where he was then transported to Lismore Base Hospital for further treatment. A rescue unit then went back to retrieve his boat and the shark.
“Thankfully the fisherman only suffered fright and a number of lacerations which resulted in a few stitches,” Marine Rescue NSW wrote on Facebook. “However, he now has an amazing survival story of ‘the one that didn’t get away.’”
It was definitely a first for Selwood in 60 years of fishing.
The great white shark launched itself out of the water from behind the boat, so it wasn’t like it was after his baited handlines. Why it jumped into the boat is anybody’s guess.
“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 told ABC.