They’re going to need a bigger boat. A group of people fishing in New Zealand were shocked when they picked up an accidental hitchhiker: A massive mako shark that leapt aboard their fishing boat.
Over the weekend, Churchys Charter NZ took a group of five customers out fishing off the coast of Whitianga, a small town in northern New Zealand. As the group targeted king fish for their bounty, a much larger animal joined the party: A mako shark. As the group fished, the shark—estimated by skipper Ryan Churches to be about 330 pounds (150 kilograms)—jumped out of the deep blue sea and landed on the boat with a thud and some unceremonious flops. A video of the incident has been making quite the splash online.
“What the fuck?” one of the passengers exclaims. “A mako just jumped on our boat,” says another.
“We were fighting it normally and it was jumping around. I told the customers ‘if it jumps in the boat get out of the way’,” Churches told the New Zealand Herald. “It just so happened that about 30 seconds later it jumped on the top of the boat. It was crazy. We were all watching the rod and the line was going out to the side of the boat and it changed direction suddenly...it just happened to jump at the same time and we got a hell of a fright.”
Churches further explained that the shark managed to escape the boat after about 2 minutes of struggling. “The customers reacted better than what a lot of people would have. The cameras were out, but they probably didn’t realise the danger we could have been in,” he told the Herald. Thankfully, the shark landed at the front of the boat as opposed to the back of the boat, where the passengers were stationed with their fishing equipment.
Mako sharks are incredibly fast sharks, topping speeds of up to 31 miles per hour, according to the Smithsonian, and are usually found away from the shore in tropical seas, like those off the coasts of New Zealand. An average mako shark can reach about 13 feet (4 meters) long and weigh up to 1,260 pounds (570 kilograms).