In a scene straight out of a movie, an Australian family encountered an aggressive great white shark for over an hour south of Perth on the western coast of the country. The massive 14-foot great white shark even took a few bites at the family’s boat engine.
“We had a big visitor from the deep come up, nice size … white pointer,” David Tuckfield said to local Australian news stations, as reported by the New York Post. David, along with his wife Tanya and 14-year-old son Shelby, encountered the shark while fishing off the coast of Mandurah. The shark approached the family’s 24-foot boat while Shelby tried to reel in a catch from the waters below.
Footage of the attack shows the great white shark breaching behind the boat with its mouth open and ready to bite. Wife Tonya lets out a fearful scream when she sees the animal. Later in the clip, the shark considers taking a bite out of the boat’s engine as it mouths the machinery with its jaws.
“He tried to take a chunk out of the motor — we were mesmerized,” said Tuckfield, who said he had never seen a shark of that size before.
The shark eventually swam off after about an hour circling the vessel and terrifying the passengers. Afterward, the family said the encounter made their Easter weekend special.
“We don’t appreciate them until you see them up close, and it is their playground,” said Tuckfield.
Great white sharks have surfaced in Australia with more frequency lately
In February, a Sydney, Australia, swimmer was not as lucky as the Tuckfield family.
Marine police crews and surf lifesavers scoured the scene of Buchan Point in Malabar at the time after reports of a shark attack. Officials “located human remains” in the water. The death is the first fatal unprovoked shark attack in Sydney since 1963.
A local hospital spokesperson said by the time crews arrived they were unable to help the swimmer. “Unfortunately this person had suffered catastrophic injuries and there was nothing paramedics could do,” the spokesperson said.
Witnesses said blood immediately permeated the surrounding water as the swimmer thrashed for survival.
“Everyone was looking around, trying to work out what was going on,” one witness said. “There were still people in the water. I’m never getting in again — no way.”
Local mayor Dylan Parker said he was “absolutely shocked” by the attack. “Our community adores our coast. To lose someone like this is chilling to the core,” Parker said at the time.
Before February, the last fatality from a shark bite in Sydney occurred in 1963 with a person simply “standing in the water,” according to the Australian Shark Incident Database.