A fisherman was battling an estimated 330-pound mako shark when it suddenly turned direction and leaped into the bow of the boat, landing with a loud thud.
The New Zealand Herald called it a “crash-landing.”
The incident occurred Saturday off the coast of Whitianga on the north island of New Zealand on a boat from Churchys Charters NZ with five fishermen aboard. They were targeting kingfish, but a big mako decided to crash the party.
“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,’” skipper Ryan Churches told the Herald.
“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 [heck] of a fright.”
The video doesn’t show the leaping mako, but you can hear it “crash-landing” and see it thrashing about in the bow. Churchys Charters NZ Facebook page posted the video.
It was the first time Churches has witnessed a shark jumping into a boat, though it’s been documented with makos plenty of times.
“We were lucky it was on the front of the boat and we had windscreens and hard tops blocking it,” Churches told the Herald. “We were lucky it didn’t come into the back of the boat otherwise it could have a wildly different story.”
Indeed. It would have been a dangerous situation.
“There’s nothing much we could do,” Churches said. “We can’t go up the front to go near it because they go absolutely bonkers.”
Instead, the 9-foot mako thrashed around for about two minutes before wriggling under the bow rail and sliding off the side of the boat. It was free from the boat and the hook.
“The customers reacted better than what a lot of people would have,” Churches told the Herald. “The cameras were out, but they probably didn’t realize the danger we could have been in.”