Looks like someone’s going to need a bigger boat.
A 16-foot, 3,000 pound great white shark was caught, and released, off the coast on South Carolina earlier this week. It may not be as big as “Jaws,” but it’s still not something you see on a regular fishing trip.
Charter Captain Chip Michalove, who owns Outcast Sport Fishing, set out Monday to catch a great white. He and his crew were on the water near Hilton Head, South Carolina, when they spotted the animal.
At first, the crew caught a 10-foot shark, but it got away, according to NBC affiliate WSAV. Just as the crew was about to give up, the 16-foot shark appeared in the water just below their boat.
“A 3000 lbs. animal is massive. People don’t realize just one wag of the tail can pool a 26-foot boat at that kind of clip. After we started fighting this thing we kind of realize that it was just too much,” Michalove told WSAV.
At that point, Michalove’s team called in another boat and its crew for backup. Once they got ahold of the shark, which they determined to be female, they tagged her and released her back into the ocean. Michalove’s team tags these animals in cooperation with the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy in Massachusetts to help research great white sharks in the Southeast.
“She kind of knew, ‘I’m the boss of the ocean and there’s nothing in this world I’m scared of,’” Michalove said.
According to WSAV, Michalove guarantees crews will see at least an eight-foot shark on his charters or the trip is free. So far, he’s never had to offer a free trip.
“I’ve encountered about 30 great whites in the last three or four years off Hilton Head, and not one of them has had a tag,” he said. “I think I’m tagging the first adult great whites here below New York.”
According to Michalove, despite other shark species’ populations decreasing, great whites are still retaining their numbers.