They say Jaws is just a movie, but Terry Selwood may have a different opinion after getting injured by a great white that literally jumped right into his boat. The 73-year-old was fishing offshore at Evans Head on the northern coast of New South Whales when the incident occurred on Saturday afternoon.
“I caught a blur of something coming over the boat … and the pectoral fin of the shark hit me on the forearm and knocked me down on the ground to my hands and knees,” Selwood said.
That has got to be the last thing anyone would ever expect while out on the water, but if the ocean promises anything, it’s the unexpected.
“There I was on all fours and he’s looking at me and I’m looking at him and then he started to do the dance around and shake and I couldn’t get out quick enough onto the gunnel,” Selwood continued.
"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
He didn’t have a whole lot of room to work with either, seeing as the boat had to hold both him and the shark and only measured 4.5 feet across and 15 feet long.
“He came right over the top of the motor and then dropped onto the floor.”
“He was 9 feet long and about 440 pounds.”
Fortunately, Selwood managed to get out of harms way while the shark was thrashing about.
“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.”
Selwood got to his radio and called for help from the local marine rescue volunteers at Evans Head. The crew initially got Mr. Selwood to safety and later returned for the boat and the shark.
He didn’t know what would have caused the shark to breach like it did. The conditions were smooth and there weren’t any surface fish anywhere around.
“I didn’t have a burly out, which does attract sharks,” he said.
“I was using two little bits of blue pilchard to fish for snapper on the bottom of the ocean, but that line was straight under the boat, not out the back where he came from.”
“For some unknown reason he just launched himself out of the water and he must have come up four feet out of the water to clear my outboard motor and drop straight in the boat.”
“He must have come up four feet out of the water.”
Despite getting injured, he didn’t actually get bitten by the shark. His arm got pretty torn up but it’s because the shark hitting him with its rough skin a few times.
Besides his arm, Selwood came out of the incident fairly healthy. He was treated for his injuries and was able to go home to recover.
Despite fishing for almost 60 years, Selwood says he’s never seen anything close to this.
“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 said.
Like a true fisherman, this isn’t something that’s going to keep him from the water. If anything, he’s taking the entire ordeal very lightly, even joking about having to one up himself and wrestle a crocodile next time to keep his name out there.
“It won’t deter me from fishing, no way in the world,” he said.
All he’s worried about now is getting his boat repaired so he can get it seaworthy again.