An elderly Australian fisherman has lived to tell the tale after a great white shark jumped into his boat, surviving with just an injured arm after he was sent flying by the thrashing beast.
Terry Selwood, 73, was enjoying some quiet time on the water off Evans Head in northern New South Wales state when he was given the fright of his life.
“I got a blur of something coming over the boat … and the pectoral fin of the shark hit me on the forearm and spun me round, knocked me down on the ground to my hands and knees,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Saturday.
“He came directly over the top of the engine and after that dropped onto the floor.”
The shark was 2.7 meters (8.8 feet) long and with the boat 1.4 meters across and 4.5 meters in length, it was a tight squeeze.
“There I was on all fours and he’s looking at me and I’m looking at him and after that he began to do the dance around and shake and I couldn’t get out quick enough onto the gunwale,” Selwood stated, referring to the upper edge of the boat.
“I looked down and I thought ‘I’ll be buggered there’s a shark in me boat’.
“I was losing a fair amount of blood, I was stunned, I couldn’t register what happened and after that I thought ‘oh my God, I must leave’.”
He figured out how to snatch his radio and called nearby marine rescue volunteers, who plucked him from the boat and took him ashore where he was treated with for skin torn off his arm.
They came back to recover his boat and the body of the unwanted passenger, which a local department of primary industries official said was a great white.
Selwood said he had been fishing for near 60 years, but had never been through anything like that.
“I’ve had them come up and brush the side of my boat, I’ve had a white pointer swim around my boat, I’ve had them take fish off my line, yet I’ve never had one do this,” he told the broadcaster.