News

Great white escape: Shark charges man in tinny

File photo from Robbie Graham: The 12-foot Great White takes a bite of the tuna head Mr Graham was using to attract bait fish.
File photo from Robbie Graham: The 12-foot Great White takes a bite of the tuna head Mr Graham was using to attract bait fish. Robbie Graham

A BYRON Bay fisherman has survived a terrifying encounter with a massive great white shark after it charged his tinny off Julian Rocks, knocking him into the water.

Robbie Graham was fishing alone close to the Byron landmark on Wednesday morning and was reeling in a tuna when the unthinkable happened, according to friend and fellow amateur fisherman Hoss McGrath.

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

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Frequency of shark attacks has surfers scared

Ballina shark attack victim was 'warm, kind, loyal'

 

The shark struck the back end of the boat, propelling it forward and Mr Graham - who was standing, rod in hand and almost directly above the shark - was sent backwards into the ocean.

Despite copping some heavy bruising to his ribs in the fall overboard, he got out of the water "real quick", Mr McGrath said.

The shark was almost as long as the lifetime local's tinny, but it thankfully never returned for a second "look".

"He was very lucky," Mr McGrath said.

Seriously shaken by the freak incident, Mr Graham returned immediately to shore and notified lifeguards, who promptly closed Main Beach for the rest of the day despite almost perfect swimming conditions.

Local dive and kayaking companies cancelled daily trips, while Byron Bay High School also cancelled its regular Wednesday afternoon snorkelling and surfing activities according to principal Peter King.

Robbie Graham
Robbie Graham

Mr McGrath said his son had observed a large white shark cruising just 30m from Wategos Beach behind two manta rays.

Last week two professional fishermen working the reef directly off Lennox Point had an astonishing 30 mackerel taken from them in the one session by what they believe was 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," Mr McGrath said.

"You can tell a great white straight away by how round they are; their big barrel body and the huge head on them."

Local surf reporter Ben Bennink said he had seen a couple of big splashes while surfing off Wategos this week "which definitely weren't dolphins".

"It was something turning near the surface at speed," he said.

Mr Bennink warned surfers not to be complacent about sharks.

"Some people, myself included, get complacent at times and treat surfing a bit like a theme park, and it's not; it's a wild environment," he said.

"Just accept them for what they are; they're a top level predator, they're going to do 'sharkie' things.

"I agree with the theory that they're very curious, but the problem with their curiosity is they test things with their teeth.

"It's too late after they spit you back out saying 'that's not good for eating'."

Mr Bennink said his complacency vanished in an instant seven years ago when a bull shark "chased him" out of knee-deep water at The Pass.

 

 

Not surprised

LOCAL fisherman Hoss McGrath has had his fair share of great white encounters and says he's not surprised to see great whites around at this time of year despite popular wisdom they are more frequent in the winter months during the whale migration.

He was fishing in the Bay with Mr Graham in 2011 when a big great white circled their boat for several minutes while they were burleying the water with a tuna head.

They filmed the incident, and spotted two more whites on the same day.

"I reckon they're out there all time, I don't believe in the theory that they're only here when the whales are going past," he said.

"You get a lot of kingfish and mackerel and snapper coming into the Bay; they're following them for a feed."

Before the ban on fishing for great whites about 10 years ago, he used to target them on occasions.

"We used to catch them all times of year."

Great whites have also been known on occasion to charge boats, especially moving propellers which they either mistake as prey or want to investigate - with their teeth.

 

There are many videos on YouTube showing other Great White Shark attacks on fishing boats. (Note - these are not from the encountered in this story above)

 

Topics:  editors picks fishing great white shark shark



Science Festival seriously awesome

CALLING everyone who wants to see, hear and be a part of something totally cool: this is where you need to be this March.

Drink where the cool kids do this summer

There are a bunch of new bars open in Brisbane, make sure you're there!

CHECK out these new funky bars.

Discover Brisbane’s laneway gems

Brisbane's laneways will surprise you.

NOT all of Brisbane City is as it seems…

Top five things to experience this summer in Brisbane

Tangalooma is amazing if you're keen for a dive, kayak or swim.

THIS summer get out and explore your capital city.

Don’t go chasing waterfalls…find them on these drives!

The Scenic Rim is just one place nearby that you'll love.

BRISBANE isn’t all bright lights and city slickers.

Your boots are made for walking these tours

Brisbane Greeters tours are a great way to learn the local history of the city.

YOU don’t need a bike or bus for a seriously good tour of Brisbane.

Is Brisbane the new arts and culture capital?

Check out GOMA's latest exhibition - it's all about hair! GOMA 10 Ambassador Patience Hodgson visits Nervescape V 2016 by Icelandic artist Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir (aka Shoplifter), commissioned for ‘Sugar Spin: you, me, art and everything’ at the Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane. 
Photograph: Natasha Harth, QAGOMA

THE rest of the world should be envious of this line-up!

Motorcyclist caught 30km/h over limit on Bruce Hway

Senior Constable Mark Dance from Yamanto Police Station. The Ipswich police will be conducting speed checks on the roads over this Christmas period. Photo: Claudia Baxter / The Queensland Times

He copped a hefty fine and lost four demerit points.

Major events prove to be a big tourism lifesaver

WELCOME VISITORS: The colourful scene at Torquay Beach as hundreds of families arrived in Hervey Bay for the Surf Life Saving Queensland Youth Championships over the weekend.

Hervey Bay is in the midst of three major events in three weeks.

$2.8M boost for the revitalisation of M'boro's CBD

'EXTRAORDINARY' GOOD NEWS: A $2.8 million State Government boost will see a raft of improvements along Maryborough's central streets, including work on the footpaths, beautification and making the streets easier to access.

It's part of the State Government program.

Local Partners

Nadia visits Coast to escape Married At First Sight drama

MARRIED At First Sight contestant Nadia Stamp escaped to the Coast for a girl's weekend to take stock ahead of week of drama.

‘I didn’t stuff it up like you have’: Plibersek on Q&A

“I didn’t stuff it up the way you have stuffed it up, George”: Tanya Plibersek.

Plibersek lashed out at Brandis to plenty of applause

MKR cheating scandal: Alyse and Matt hit back

Matt Jenner shows his MKR rivals the curry paste he and Alyse used.

Alyse and Matt Jenner have hit back at claims they cheated on MKR

The spare part that forced the ABC off air

Aunty's showing her age ahead during new IT roll out

Why ABC Coast FM has taken so long to resume local programming

MKR rocked by satay sauce cheating scandal

Alyse and Matt slammed for satay sauce fiasco.

'Nasty' Married At First Sight groom ripped apart on TV

Anthony gets torn down during the Married At First Sight commitment ceremony.

MAFS groom Anthony faces the music after fiery dinner party.

MOVIE REVIEW: Matt Damon's The Great Wall gets lost

Matt Damon fails in a scene from the movie The Great Wall.

Did The Great Wall get lost in translation?

Popular island resort sells to loaded international investor

OUR PICK: Chris Foey's colourful shot of one of Gladstone's great tourism hot spots, Heron Island.

International investor snaps up piece of Gladstone paradise.

Expert: Why renters, home buyers may struggle

Matusik Property Insights director Michael Matusik.

What's next for the city's housing market

Massive seaside development of 3200 lots

DESIRABLE LIFESTYLE: The masterplan for the proposed Elliott Heads Estate.

"There's nothing else left along the coastline of Queensland now"

Potential home buyers punished for doing the 'right thing'

Should I go to university or buy a house?

50 more high rise buildings planned for Brisbane CBD

Height limits have been scrapped for Brisbane CBD

800,000 more people expected to work in city over next 20 years

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!