A fisherman reported an unusual encounter with a massive great white shark off the coast of Australia this week, claiming that the predator approached him from out of nowhere before investigating his lines.
Angler Cam Sutherland was fishing near Long Reef in Sydney’s Northern Beaches area when he encountered the unusually large white shark, thought to be a full 5.5-meters-long. Though he was just 500 meters from the nearest shore, Sutherland said that the shark not only approached him, but as 9 News reports, astonishingly began tugging on the lines he had already set in the water.
“First I thought it was a whale… and then realized it was a white pointer. I was a bit scared at first, then I noticed it was not aggressive at all, it was pretty laid back.”
— Jedda The Shark (@Jedda_the_Shark) September 2, 2015
Sutherland said he was first approached by the shark around 8:30, and the great white circled him for at least 15 minutes. Though the shark remained calm, the 22-year-old angler said that it did nudge his boat at one point, investigating the motor. Such behavior is commonly reported when anglers encounter great white sharks, and it is thought that slight electrical signals generated by the motors could be attracting their attention.
Utilizing a GoPro, Sutherland was able to record footage of the great white by submerging his camera over the side of the boat. Veteran anglers he spoke with after returning to shore asserted that the shark measured somewhere between 5.5 and six-meters-long, as the Daily Telegraph reports. Reflecting on the incredible size of the shark, Sutherland said he had never seen anything quite like the great white.
“I was reeling in my lure and she just came up from the side out of nowhere, this big head. Didn’t show teeth or anything. It was easily the size of the width of the boat.”
— BBC Earth (@BBCEarth) September 2, 2015
Large white sharks are frequently reported in the waters surrounding Australia and New Zealand, which are thought to be a prime habitat for the species. At least 12 attacks have been reported along the Australian coast this year, leading to beach closures and calls for intervention, particularly at Byron, Ballina, and Evans Head shires. Between five to seven great white sharks, including some notably large specimens, have been reported regularly patrolling the waters of that region.
[Image via YouTube/ Camm778]