Great White Shark Jumps into Research Ship

Photograph: Chris Brunskill Ltd/Rex Features

A group of researchers were out at sea in order to photograph the dorsal fins of Great White Sharks so they could could the population in South Africa’s Mossell Bay.  They were chumming the water to attract the sharks with bits of food and fish oil. Researchers were observing the sharks and taking pictures when one jumped out of the water and landed on the ship. When the shark realized it was out of the water it tried to get itself back in the water by moving in the only direction that sharks can which is forward. Unfortunately the shark managed to wedge itself into the ship and was thrashing around visibly upset.

Researchers waited for the shark to calm down before getting close to it and trying to get it off the ship but it was too large and too heavy for them to do it alone. They contacted harbor control and requested a crane to be available in order to lift the shark off the vessel when they arrived at the harbor. The researchers then got to work keeping water on the shark and used a hose to keep the shark breathing.  A very stressful ordeal for the shark.

They damaged research vessel arrived back at the harbor and the crane was able to easily get the shark off of the boat and researchers thought it would just swim back out to sea. However the shark being stressed already and finding itself in the busy environment of the harbor got very agitated and upset and wound up beaching itself again. The researchers were able to get the shark back into the water and brought it out to sea where is swam off apparently uninjured.

For more information or to hear the interview with the head of the research team visit

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