Two fishermen had a close encounter with a deadly great white shark – and lived to tell the story.
Angler Lucas Smith and his friend accidentally fished the predator while fishing in Australia earlier this month.
They tried to catch bronze whale sharks in the shallows at Short Point in Merimbula, New South Wales.
Instead, they were surprised and wrapped in the great white. The Daily Mail reports.
There were swimmers nearby enjoying a day at the beach.
Hair-raising footage posted on Facebook shows the shark flipping from side to side as it is released.
Whites are a protected species and Mr Smith said he released the shark as soon as it was caught.
He said, “We are targeting bronze whalers, everything else is bycatch and certainly not a target species.”
“We caught two more sharks there in a short three-hour session while people were swimming right next to us.
“It was amazing to see it float away healthy,” he wrote.
But some who saw the footage were surprised by Mr. Smith’s encounter with the wild predator.
“Couldn’t go swimming next time,” commented one.
Another pointed out that great whites aren’t always interested in attacking people, saying, “It shows that sharks don’t necessarily want to eat people.”
Although they are often portrayed as killers – especially after Steven Spielberg’s 1975 thriller Jaws and the countless creepy shark spin-offs that followed – great whites are intelligent beings and generally have little interest in eating people.
However, according to National Geographic, great whites are highly adapted predators, and their mouths are lined with up to 300 serrated, triangular teeth arranged in multiple rows, and they have an exceptional sense of smell for recognizing prey.
Despite their enormous size, they are classified as endangered species due to overfishing and poor regulation.
Last year, researchers pulled a giant 17 foot great white shark weighing more than 3,500 pounds from the ocean.
The monster fish, known as the “Queen of the Ocean”, was discovered by a team from the nonprofit OCEARCH in the Northwest Atlantic near Nova Scotia, Canada.
Chairman Chris Fischer, who led the expedition, said it was the largest creature the group has ever tagged – a process that helps researchers study the habits and practices of marine life.
The data was collected for 21 research projects and included taking an ultrasound, taking bacterial samples from the shark’s teeth, and analyzing stool samples to learn more about the animal’s diet. Blood, muscle and skin samples were also taken to study the species.
The shark weighed 3,541 pounds and was 17 feet 2 inches in diameter. It had lived more than half a century.
Mr. Fischer said: “You feel insignificant when you stand next to such an old animal.”