In a Jaws-like moment, a Durban man had a brush with what is believed to be a great white shark, which attacked his canoe while he was fishing off Tinley Manor beach at the weekend.
“It was incredibly scary … more so now after the fact because the gravity of everything has set in,” Bryon Machado said.
The 41-year-old school teacher had taken to the water shortly after sunrise on Sunday morning with a friend.
“We launched through the surf and got behind the backline and I had my feet hanging over the boat like I usually do,” he said.
“I was paddling with live bait on the line and the shark hit me from the side. It came up from the deep and I saw this flash on my left hand side,” Machado added.
The fisherman said that in the blur of fins and white water, the shark tried to take a chunk out of his canoe.
“It knocked my boat into the air and somehow I landed back in the seat. It bit down and was thrashing and shaking around. It felt like hours but it was probably about 10 seconds.
“Jissus, all I can remember was seeing this huge eyeball … that was just eyeballing me.”
Realising the canoe wasn’t edible, the shark released Machado’s craft and swam away. Machado managed to paddle back to shore while taking on water.
Using measurement of the bite marks, KZN Sharks Board officials estimated that the shark was a great white, about 3m long.
Mike Anderson-Reade of the Sharks Board confirmed that officials had examined the craft. “We think it was a great white,” he said. “They are the only shark that is really inquisitive. It is not something that frequently occurs but we have had incidents before. I don’t think it was going for the person on the ski,” he said.