By Tui Benjamin
This is the terrifying moment a 15ft great white shark left a group of fishermen hanging on for dear life when it BIT their boat’s motor after slamming the vessel with its tail.
Darcy Russell, 20, and cousin Andrew Russell, 31, filmed their petrifying close encounter with the fearless fish as it eyeballed them from the water just a mile off the coast of Port MacDonnell, South Australia, on Saturday (June 10).
In the footage, the spooked fishermen can be heard exclaiming ‘holy f*ck’ as the monster animal spends 10 minutes repeatedly circling their boat before gnawing the outboard motor.
Apprentice cabinet maker Darcy, from Coleraine, Victoria, said: “We were only about 2km from the beach and we were trying to catch gummy sharks and school sharks to eat.
“We were sitting there and when we put the bait in the water this big dark shape came up to the back of the boat and came straight at us. It turned out to be a great white.
“It must have been about 4.5m long and weighing at least 400kg, it was huge. It wasn’t that much smaller than our boat, which is a fairly decent size – about 5.5m.
“It was circling and swimming slowly around the boat for at least 10 minutes, but it felt a lot longer. At one stage it started biting the motor at the back of the boat and chewing it – it left marks.
“It was banging the boat and hitting it with its tail. When it first approached it tried to bite the bag of bait.
“It was just dangerous. If one of us had fallen in the water I don’t think we would have had much chance. If it got hold of you, you would not last very long.
“I think the shark was curious and came up to see who we were and what we were doing, because we were in its territory.
“We were totally in shock, we couldn’t believe what had just happened, it was crazy. You could tell it was really intelligent, it knew exactly what it was doing.”
Darcy was fishing with Andrew, Andrew’s girlfriend Dani McKinnon and his dad Colin Russell when the gargantuan great white appeared at about 1pm.
After the shark eventually left the area two fishermen in boats Darcy said were smaller than the animal appeared before swiftly retreating when they heard what was lurking in the water.
Darcy said: “I wasn’t scared, more in shock really and really excited – I never thought I would get to see a great white shark up so close at all.
“But Dani was petrified – she has already said she will never go surfing in this area again.
“I was surprised it came right up to the boat how it did, I would’ve thought it might have been a bit scared, but it was not really scared at all.
“I had always hoped to see a shark in the wild but didn’t expect to see it so up close like that.”