Do Atlantic great white sharks follow rowboats for hours to days?

Do Atlantic Great White Sharks typically follow row boats for "hours to days" only to eventually attack them?

According to then I-Newswire press release, “Explorer welcomes attacks by Great White Sharks,” professional explorer Wave Vidmar is planning a solo ocean row from the USA to Europe for “science, research, education, and of course the adventure of it all.” Vidmar’s boat will feature Kevlar in its construction for “shark protection.”

The press release goes on to make the claim that…

“Typically Atlantic Great White sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) will follow the tiny ocean row boats for hours to days, then attack by biting the backs of the boats.”

If anybody can direct me to any research or evidence that supports this claim, I’d appreciate it. I have never come across anything that seems to indicate this is “typical” of Atlantic white sharks.

Update: Solo ocean rower, Wave Vidmar, has provided some more information regarding white sharks following the boats of solo ocean rowers across the Atlantic.


  1. Wave says:


    Though not a scientific study, if you contact all of the 4 people that have rowed solo from North America to Europe you will find similiar experiences in that Great White sharks followed their boats for hours to days, with several boats being attacked by the shark biting the backs of their boats. No misrepresentation of sharks desired.

    Mr. Wave Vidmar

    • TheDorsalFin says:

      Hi Mr. Vidmar,

      Thanks for the information. Has this behavior occurred in the same approximate geographic location each time? I’ve read Thomas P. Peschak and Michael C. Scholl’s accounts of their sea kayaks being followed by great white sharks in South Africa, but according to Peschak at no point did the white sharks ever display aggression towards their crafts. I’d love to learn more about the Atlantic white shark behavior. Do you know of any resources or contact info for the solo rowers who have experienced this behavior? Thanks and safe travel on your adventure!

  2. Neels says:

    Dear Mr. Vidmar, We kayak every day in a Great White Shark infested waters off the coast of Dyer Island we have seen many Great White Sharks but never ever did I or my colleague once felt threatened by the shark. Some times it follows us and some times we follow it. No aggression from the sharks at all. We encountered some Tiger shark as well, but no aggression shown.

    Kind Regards

  3. juan pescadora says:

    People tend to forget how long white sharks live. They are not dumb and are able to learn. Combine that with the territory they cover, and their recognition of the rules of nature (bigger is usually badder)and to have them scope out an unknown possible meal or see a shape or movement of a meal type previously seen thousands of miles away and thus out of place, and their behavior is no longer unusual. Plus, don’t forget that everything evolves. So the shark that bit Rodney may have learned thousands of lessons since then and may now be in the North Atlantic looking for cheap whale pickins…

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