Great White Shark Drags Tourist For 50 Meters Into Deep Sea Before He Makes Lucky Escape

A fisherman had a close encounter with a white shark in South Africa this week when the predator dragged him towards deep sea for about 50 meters (164 feet).

Rescue personnel were deployed from the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) Plettenberg Bay station on Wednesday shortly after 10 a.m. after an eyewitness report of a shark targeting a person in waters off Natures Valley, a holiday resort along the southern Cape coast.

Station commander Marc Rodgers said the victim—Theodore Prinsloo of Wellington—was on a trip with his family at the time, DispatchLive reported.

An eyewitness initially claimed to have seen a shark take the fisherman, telling rescue services that only a floatation buoy remained in the sea and there was little sign of the person it had belonged to.

Upon arrival at the scene, personnel found the buoy with the head of a Mussel Cracker fish attached.

Prinsloo made contact with the NSRI after seeing their boats in the area and confirmed that he had survived the shark encounter without injury.

According to Rodgers, Prinsloo said other fishermen warned him of a five meter (16 foot) white shark that was spotted close to where he was swimming on Tuesday.

At the time he left the water without incident. The man said a shark was in the area when he returned Wednesday so he stayed close to rocks. But he soon had a harrowing encounter.

"About 20 minutes after catching an approximately eight to nine kilogram Mussel Cracker that he hooked to a floatation buoy attached to his spear gun, the shark grabbed the fish and made off out to sea dragging the buoy, and Theodore with it," the station commander explained.

"Theodore was able to release the flotation buoy after being dragged for a distance of about 50 meters towards deep sea and he quickly swam ashore," Rodgers added.

The NSRI was able to recover the buoy, line and the fish head. Prinsloo and his family picked up the buoy and line at the organization's sea rescue base. The commander said that Prinsloo had been grateful for the buoy being saved because he needed to go back out fishing.

"The NSRI encourages bathers, divers and spear fishermen to be cautious of the dangers of the sea when swimming and diving," the sea rescue organization said on Facebook.

STATION 14 – Plettenberg Bay:Marc Rodgers, NSRI Plettenberg Bay station commander, said:At 10h13, Wednesday, 18th...

Posted by Sea Rescue Plettenberg Bay on Wednesday, December 18, 2019

The great white shark is the largest predatory fish on Earth. As noted by National Geographic, the species grows to an average of 15 feet in length, with a top length of about 20 feet.

Earlier this week, an investigation was launched in Cape Town, South Africa, after dozens of dead baby sharks were found on a beach. They were missing their heads, dorsal fins and tails. "Shark fins are targets for poachers as they fetch a high price on the black market. Shark fins are also used in delicacies overseas," the Cape of Good Hope SPCA said on Facebook.

Great White Shark
Great White Sharks seasonally gather off the coast of Guadalupe Island on September 15, 2016. Dave J Hogan/Getty