Great White Shark Jumps Into Researchers' Boat: Who's the Guinea Pig Now?

great white sharkA team of researchers in South Africa were out chumming the waters, observing some sharks, when something really fishy happened: A 1,100-pound great white shark jumped into their boat. Jumped into their boat. A great white shark. Jumped. Boat. Into. Uh, is this anyone else's nightmare come true?

The 10-foot shark thrashed around the stern as researchers tried to keep him wet. While they might have been happy for the up close and personal look at their subject, his flailing cut the boat's fuel lines and did some serious damage. Worst part? He wouldn't leave. The shark was half in, half out of the boat at one point, but instead of deciding to get back in the water, he flung himself entirely onto the deck. Who's observing whom now?

I'm wondering about a few things, but first things first: I hope one of the crewman got to say, "I think we're going to need a bigger boat."

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I mean this sounds like something right out of Jaws. Steven Spielberg couldn't have set up a more dramatic shot. According to one of the researchers on board, it was sight to behold:

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 crew member who was chumming on the boat's port side.

The shark then found its new home on the boat deck, and the crew spent the next few hours trying to get it off. They tied ropes around the shark's tail and had a nearby boat try to tow the shark off, but it didn't work. All the while pouring water over the great white's gills, they had to bring the boat to the dock where they eventually used a crane to lift the fish by its tail and drop it in the water.

The shark then swam over to Amity Beach where it ate some surfers, freaked out a little boy on a Sunfish sailboat, and terrorized a beach community for the better part of a summer.

Nah, OK OK ... the boat-loving great white, after being found breached on a nearby beach after its first release, was again towed out, this time to deeper water, and set free for good. Hopefully by the time the researchers get around to telling the story about a shark jumping into their boat, the tale won't have jumped the shark. (Eh, I tried.)

Can you believe this happened?


Photo via bellamy.andrew/Flickr

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