ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Education and Science»
  • Life Sciences»
  • Marine Biology

The Shark That Wouldn't Leave : A Great White Shark Jumps Onto A Research Vessel

Updated on July 21, 2011
Great white sharks are known to jump out of the water while hunting seals in South Africa.  But never has one jumped onto a boat before ...
Great white sharks are known to jump out of the water while hunting seals in South Africa. But never has one jumped onto a boat before ...

If asked to think of a great white shark jumping onto a boat - most people will conjure up the image from the final scene's in the classic movie Jaws. However, for one research vessel this week, this scene was no hollywood special effect. It was real.

The research vessel Cheetah was conducting a population study of great white sharks off of the infamous Seal Island (so named because of the large population of seals that inhabit it, and the great whites that prey on them). It was around this island that great white sharks were first reported to breach the water in a hunting tactic to ambush the seals. Since then, numerous research projects have studied this peculiar behavior.

But never has a shark jumped onto a boat before.

The crew of the research vessel where chumming the water (throwing in a mixture of blood, ground up fish, and sardines) in order to attract the shark population nearby for observation when, suddenly, a 1,100 pound shark jumped right next to the boat and landed with half its body on the onboard.

The scene from the classic movie JAWS where the villainous shark jumps onto and starts eating the stern of the boat.  Thankfully, this was not the case in this weeks episode off of Seal Island
The scene from the classic movie JAWS where the villainous shark jumps onto and starts eating the stern of the boat. Thankfully, this was not the case in this weeks episode off of Seal Island

The Shark That Wouldn't Go Away

The crew of the Cheetah hoped that the thrashing animal would simply slip off of the stern and back into the water. But the animal's movements only made the situation worse as it became stuck in a small section on the stern of the boat. The writhing shark also succeeded in severing the boats fuel lines ...

A fellow research vessel came to the aid of the Cheetah and their strange predicament. They tied a rope around the tail of the great white and tried to pull it off of the stern to no avail. The crew of the Cheetah poured water over the shark's gills to keep the animal alive as the boat was towed back into the harbor.

A fishing boat was then called upon to lift the shark off of the deck of the Cheetah using its crane. It was successful in getting the shark back into the water, but only a half hour later, the shark was found beached on land just a short distance away. The researchers again came to the rescue, walking the weakened shark out into deeper water, but the shark was just too weak to swim away on its own. The rescuers decided to tie ropes to the shark and tow it back out to sea with another boat. Once out in the open ocean, the shark was able to regain its strength and swim away.

Thankfully, no humans or sharks were harmed during this entire event.

The great white shark on the stern of the research vessel Cheetah
The great white shark on the stern of the research vessel Cheetah | Source

An Unlikely Attack

The researchers say that this was most likely a mistake by the shark, and not a conscious attack. Great white sharks are not the evil, man-eating menace the movies make them out to be. They are beautiful and wonderful creatures that have remained unchanged for 65 million years. As our understanding of them grows, so does our acceptance of them.

The researches believe that they were very lucky, though. If they had been on one of their smaller boats - and they have carried out similar projects on smaller boats before - it is likely that the event would have capsized their boat in the dangerous waters.

This is a "whale story" of a shark that those involved are likely to tell for many years to come ...

Video of Great Whites Jumping

Join Me!

Follow me on my adventure as I experiment with living aboard a small, 27' sailboat in an attempt to find the balance between wants, needs, personal growth, and what really matters in life.

In Search Of The Sea : Sailing and Simple Living In Our Complex World




Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Yay- 2 years ago

      Yay cool story

    • Fortadam profile image
      Author

      Fortadam 6 years ago from Portland Oregon

      Thanks Angela! I'm glad you enjoyed :)

    • profile image

      AngelaFaith 6 years ago

      This is wonderful reading and viewing! Thank you for sharing your adventures with us!

    • Fortadam profile image
      Author

      Fortadam 6 years ago from Portland Oregon

      I have nothing but respect for those researchers. Their devotion to the animals is amazing ... Even after one endangers their lives, they still do everything they can to protect the shark. Just amazing.

    • Jenny30 profile image

      Jennifer 6 years ago from Canada

      wow that's amazing that a shark could do that! Its a wonder someone didn't get hurt!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)