A 5.5′ (1.7 meter) bull shark accidentally found itself aboard a fishing boat over the weekend, off the coast of Florida, according to MyFox Boston.
The shark jumped into Michael Powers’ 21′ boat off the coast of Haulover Beach. Powers and multiple passengers were returning from a day of spear-fishing and lobster diving, when the shark breached the surface and landed on the deck of the boat. The shark injured herself while flopping around on the deck sending some of the passengers on board scrambling to get out of her way. Eventually the crew of the boat was able to return the shark to the water. Fortunately, the crew and passengers aboard the boat were all unharmed.
This sounds like one of those freak occurrences when a shark breaches the water at the wrong time and, in this case, ends up on-board somebody’s boat. The story reminds me a bit of the spotted eagle ray fatality in Florida that occurred last year. From the eyewitness reports, the shark was on the receiving end of most of the trauma.
Fortunately, this story has been covered fairly objectively in the media, from what I can tell, and I haven’t really seen many media outlets over-sensationalizing this. Shark Leaps into Boat in Florida, Scares Fishermen, from Associated Content, does get a little carried away with the statement, “They all came face to face with a shark that would have torn them apart if they hadn’t scrambled to get out of the way.” From all accounts, the shark was flailing as a result of accidentally landing in a boat. While a flailing bull shark certainly poses a safety threat, it’s a bit of a stretch to say that the shark would have torn anybody apart.