Catch of a lifetime: Shark jumps into boat off UAE's coast
This little guy just wants to hang out. (Shutterstock)
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Emirati sailor Hamza Humaid al-Sahra’a shared a tale with fellow seafarers in Al Rogilat harbour on the UAE’s eastern coastline that didn’t disappoint.
According to al-Sahra’a, one of the biggest sharks he has ever seen jumped clear out of the Arabian Sea on Sunday evening and lunged at one of his five-member crew before the three-metre Mako landed on the aft deck of his fishing vessel.
Doubters were soon believers when the intruding shark was offloaded from al-Sahra’a’s vessel as it returned to shore to empty its hold.
Al-Sahra’a said he believes the shark was attacking one of his crew in the darkness of the night around 9pm — the shark may have been attracted by the noise or movement of crew members on the fishing boat engaged in yet another fishing excursion in the blue waters offshore, about 35 nautical miles off the Fujairah coast.
Luckily for the crew, the fish didn’t hurt anyone.
Al-Sahra’a, 36, said one of the crew was fixing a cable on the boat when the shark came out of nowhere into the boat.
Khalifa Masoud, deputy chairman of Fujairah Fishermen’s Association, told Gulf News that the shark weighed roughly two tonnes and is locally known as ‘Al Dhaiba’ (a fish with wolf characteristics).
Masoud said the shark jumped aboard and attempted to snatch one of the crew but it could not do so as it got stuck due to its huge size.
The species has the ability to jump out of the water up to a height of five meters to snatch its prey, Masoud explained
As the shark thrashed about, crew members, fearing for their lives, produced a large stick to subdue the unwelcome intruder and then tied it down for safety.
Masoud said the incident was not all that surprising given that his vessel has been subject to flying sharks twice before last year.
In last year’s incidents, the sharks were smaller, he said.
“We are used to seeing this species of shark but not usually this long. It is a very dangerous species,” Masoud said.
The sudden behaviour by the fish to jump at vessels has led to warnings to local fisherman not to sit on the edge of their boats which could prove dangerous.
Masoud said the fishermen’s association is expected to preserve the large shark for eventual display at the Fujairah Maritime Museum.
No great white
A UAE marine expert laid to rest claims the shark taken on Sunday may have been a Great White.
Although fisheries experts say Great Whites are spotted in local waters from time to time, they are not native to the Gulf or Arabian Sea waters.
Upon closer inspection of photos of the shark provided by fishermen in Fujairah, the expert said there is no doubt that the shark is a Mako species.
The Mako is an offshore oceanic species, the expert said.
By Aghaddir Ali