Great White Shark Attacks Boat, Throwing Man Into Byron Bay

Luckily for the angler, the great white did not return after striking his boat.

A fisherman in Australia’s Byron Bay survived an unusual encounter with a great white shark on Wednesday, when the predator rammed the side of his boat, sending him tumbling into the water.

Robbie Graham was fishing alone in a small dinghy near Byron Bay’s Julian Rocks, according to the Northern Star, when the freak encounter happened. Graham was reeling in a tuna he had hooked when the great white appeared, hurtling toward the side of his boat. According to local fisherman Hoss McGrath, a friend of Graham’s, the shark caught the angler totally unaware.

“This huge shark about 15ft (4.5m) came launching into the side of the boat and knocked him off his feet into the water,” he said.

Despite suffering bruised ribs, Graham managed to pull himself out of the water quickly.

Graham was standing, rod in hand, when the white shark rammed into the back end of his boat, and he was thrown into the sea from the impact. Though the shark was nearly as long as Graham’s small boat, the predator luckily didn’t come back for a second strike. Despite some bruising to his ribs, Graham managed to pull himself out of the water, quickly returning to shore and alerting lifeguards. Authorities closed Main Beach following the odd shark attack, according to EchoNetDaily, and local dive companies cancelled their trips for the day.

Surprisingly, the incident isn’t the first time a white shark has struck the side of a boat, enticed by a fisherman’s catch. Last November, a man and his son fishing for salmon near Australia’s Carnac Island filmed a white shark as it rammed their boat. The shark struck the boat so hard that both men were knocked over, though as the Inquisitr previously reported, they remained within the safety of the vessel.

Fishermen regularly report seeing white sharks in the region.

Local surfers and anglers have reported seeing several white sharks in the area around Byron Bay over the course of the last week, and the predators are hardly strangers to the region. Last week, two fishermen lost 30 mackerel from their catch off Lennox Point to a pair of great whites.

“They said there must have been two of them because they were taking them off two boats at the same time, and these guys were pros,” McGrath recalled. “You can tell a great white straight away by how round they are; their big barrel body and the huge head on them.”

Following a rash of shark attacks last year on the north coast, a meeting of local mayors will be held on March 18. The group will speak with experts in an effort to explore non-lethal deterrents for the region’s great white shark population.

[Image via Today and the Northern Star]