Two fishermen in New Zealand almost reeled in a great white shark by accident.
Daniel McDonald and his brother-in-law George Eivers went fishing on Oct. 25. They were shocked when they found a great white shark tangled in the ropes of their empty crayfish pot.
The shark was about 6 feet long and was estimated to be anywhere between 400 to 440 pounds, the New Zealand Herald reported.
But the two fishermen were not afraid. In fact, they told the New Zealand Herald that they were “laughing their heads off” from excitement and that they couldn’t believe what was happening.
“It kicked a couple of times and threw us towards the boat as we were hanging over the side, but because it was hanging upside down it took a bit of the sting out of it,” McDonald said.
The shark forced the 20-foot boat onto its side as it was dragged to the surface. McDonald and Eivers were eventually able to release the shark back into the ocean and watched it swim away “quite happily.”
Department of Conservation shark expert Clinton Duffy confirmed that the accidental catch was indeed a great white shark after seeing pictures taken by the fishermen.
“It's not uncommon to see them this size off the Hawkes Bay coast at this time of year,” Duffy said.
“Most of the records I have of great whites from Hawkes Bay are from May to late November," he added. "In the Hawkes Bay-Gisborne area, they are probably there all year around, but August and September seemed to be the peak months.”