An Australian angler has claimed that the same great white shark attacked his boat twice over a six-month-period, and he isn’t the only fisherman to have an unusual run-in with the predators in the region recently.
Daniel Fleming, who hails from Kingscliff, has claimed that a white shark struck his small boat two times since last April, according to the Northern Star. Based on identifying markings on the shark’s head, Fleming also believes that, incredibly, the same great white was responsible for both incidents.
“I swear…it was the same one in the same spot six months apart,” he asserted. “It was bigger than my boat.”
A great white shark surfacing pic.twitter.com/r3a6yaKPIv
— Sharkingaround (@sharkingaround) March 24, 2015
Fleming claimed that the shark, which displayed unique scars near its face, damaged his vessel in both encounters.
Earlier this month, another angler in Byron Bay found himself in similar straits, when a white shark rammed his small boat, commonly called a tinny, tossing him into the water. As the Inquisitr previously reported, Robbie Graham suffered some bruising to his ribs, but was able to clamber back aboard his boat before the white shark returned to investigate further.
Baby great white sharks are like little puppies – but instead of paws, they have jaws >> http://t.co/t6SOshg0PQ pic.twitter.com/wL7kPV2JGQ
— Discovery (@Discovery) March 19, 2015
Though great whites have been known to attack small boats in the past, the incidents are likely the result of the sharks becoming confused, according to experts. Dr. David Powter, who confirmed that it was indeed a great white that struck Fleming’s boat, pointed out that electrical fields generated by the small boats could have a disorienting effect on the predators.
“Sharks have an electro sense with which they detect the weak magnetic fields living things produce, an electric field which is replicated by an aluminum boat,” he explained. “It’s not uncommon they would explore objects because of that sensory information they are receiving. A lot of it has to do with whatever is in the water at the time, it’s getting a whole of information and then naturally responding to that sensory information.”
— George T. Probst (@GeorgeProbst) March 20, 2015
Fleming’s encounters come amid reports that sharks are venturing closer to Australian shores than in previous years. According to the Herald Sun, researchers are attempting to determine the nature of the white shark population in the region, following a trio of fatal attacks last year. So far, scientists have been able to identify two shark nurseries in Victoria and in Port Stephens, New South Wales. While the sharks’ Western Australian breeding grounds are unknown, researchers believe that the great whites may be found off Esperance.
[Image: Daniel Fleming via the Northern Star]