A group of New Zealand fishermen got the fright of their lives when a shark jumped into their boat, sparking chaos. The shortfin mako is the world's fastest shark, capable of speeds up to 46 miles per hour. The shark had caught one of the fishing lines and was jumping around ferociously, causing alarm for the fisherman, who knew what the sharks are capable of.
"We were fighting it normally, and it was jumping around. I told the customers, 'if it jumps in the boat, get out of the way,'" says Churchys Charter NZ skipper Ryan Churches. Here's what happened when the shark jumped onto the boat and what the video footage showed.
Just a Normal Day
It started off as a normal fishing expedition for Churches, who was taking five customers out off the coast of Whitianga to catch some kingfish. To their surprise, they caught more than just a kingfish—a gigantic shark took the bait. "We were out at the Aldermans fishing with five customers on board winding a bait in and the mako took the bait," Churches explains. Keep reading to learn more and see the video.
Churches did his best to get the shark off the line but to no avail. "We were fighting it normally, and it was jumping around. I told the customers, 'if it jumps in the boat, get out of the way.' It just so happened that about 30 seconds later, it jumped on the top of the boat. It was crazy. We were all watching the rod, and the line was going out to the side of the boat, and it changed direction suddenly… it just happened to jump at the same time, and we got a hell of a fright."
Huge Mako Shark
Churches estimates the shark was almost 9 feet long and over 300 pounds. He says after crash-landing on the boat, the shark was flailing around for two minutes, trying to free itself from the line. It would have been highly dangerous to approach the shark, Churches says, so helping it was out of the question.
Freedom For the Shark
The shark eventually managed to free itself from the line and took off, much to the relief of Churches and his customers. "He got away safe," Churches said. "There's nothing much we could do. We can't go up the front to go near it because they go absolutely bonkers. We dropped the anchor down a little bit because it seemed to be holding it in place [on the boat]. He went absolutely bonkers again and pushed himself through the bow rail and slid back into the water."
Churches and his customers were thankful the shark landed at the front of the boat and not the back. "The customers reacted better than what a lot of people would have," he says. "The cameras were out, but they probably didn't realize the danger we could have been in. We were lucky it was on the front of the boat and we had windscreens and hard tops blocking it. We were lucky it didn't come into the back of the boat otherwise it could have a wildly different story."