Fishermen Rescues 18-Foot Great White Shark From Net: 'Her Teeth Were So Sharp'

A crew of Newfoundland fishers pulled up their nets in Back Bay Harbor near St. George on Sunday to discover a very unusual catch: A massive shark, estimated to weigh more than 1,000 pounds.

"First when I saw it, I thought it was just a little wee small shark that was only about four or five feet long," fisherman William Hanley told CBC Radio's Shift New Brunswick. But when more of the net was pulled up, he realized that the creature was closer to 18 feet long.

Fishing crew frees great white shark
William Hanley uses his boat's winch to lift a great white shark out of the water Arielle Hanley / Facebook

Hanley tried to scoop the shark out with a second net, but as it thrashed around, the piscine predator ripped through the mesh with its razor-sharp teeth.

"She was a little harder because her teeth were so sharp," Hanley told CTV News. "We'd pull the twine and the twine would just part, just like a hot butter knife going through butter."

Eventually, Hanley got the idea to attach the boat's winch to the shark's tail and haul it out that way.

Hanley and his crew were then able to raise the netted shark on the winch and bring it further out in the bay to be released.

His daughter Arielle had her phone and recorded the struggle to get the shark, which the family believes to be a great white, out of the water.

Rescuing a Great White shark from the seine this morning!

Posted by Arielle Hanley on Sunday, September 15, 2019

Although this is the biggest shark he's pulled out of the water, Hanley says it's not the biggest he's seen in the Back Bay—a few weeks ago he saw a great white twice its size.

"I am surprised because it does get pretty shallow here when the tide goes out, so 14 foot and above, that's quite the shark," said St. George resident Renate Roske-Shelton. "I guess I won't go swimming anytime soon."

The same day. thousands of miles away in Australia, a drone photographer spied a great white approaching a surfer and was able to warn the swimmer away.

The stunning incident occurred off Werri Beach in New South Wales, where drone operator Christopher Joye filmed his successful attempt at fending off the marine predator. The video shows the shadowy outline of the shark swimming directly toward the surfer, who immediately takes his legs out of the water after hearing the drone's speaker.

At Werri Beach today this large shark was approaching a surfer, and I used my drone's speaker system to warn him. Watch him look up at the drone, then bolt, with the sudden splashing warding off the approaching shark @smh @FinancialReview

— christopher joye (@cjoye) September 15, 2019

"The surfer was completely oblivious, even though the water was very clear. I used the speaker system to warn the surfer as the shark started clearly heading towards him," Joye told the Illawarra Mercury.

He told the paper the shark was about 10 to 13 feet long and had been circling the surfer prior to his drone sighting.

"It looked like either a bronze whaler or a great white, but I am not sure. I have seen numerous sharks at Werri using drones, but this is the first time I have been able to warn anyone with the speaker system."

Sightings of great white sharks have plummeted in Cape Town, South Africa, one of their better-known haunts. Shark Spotters, a local nonprofit that monitors beaches, has not confirmed a single white shark sighting in 2019, according to Science magazine, not even during the summer months (January to April), when they're usually frequent visitors.

The reasons are unknown: Research manager Tamlyn Engelbrecht says Shark Spotters typically counts 200 sightings a year—this is the time there have been none in its 16-year history. In addition to white sharks being a tourist draw, their absence as an apex predator could endanger the entire aquatic ecosystem.