For ten straight days, beaches near Newcastle, Australia were closed off to the public after numerous sightings of a 16-foot, 3,700-pound great white shark. Beaches were reopened on Monday after lifeguard patrols determined that the massive shark had moved off, but not before one final encounter with a pair of fishermen over the weekend. According to the Newcastle Herald, Tim Watson and Allan de Sylva recorded the shark as it swam underneath their boat, which was out-sized by the great white by at least three feet. It has not been confirmed if this shark was the same one that Newcastle officials are searching for, but their sizes are similar.
“It felt like getting trapped in a room with an angry pit bull,” Watson told the Herald. “It wouldn’t leave us alone. You almost wanted to stop and admire it but it was being pretty aggressive. It was as big as a wagon car—that’s what it felt like looking at it.”
You can see video of the encounter below. Be advised, the video contains very strong language.
WARNING: The video below contains some graphic content. Viewer discretion is advised.
The anglers said they were shaken by the experience, especially after the shark began to nudge their boat’s engine. After a while, the shark lost interest and left.
Now local officials are hoping that the great white, which some residents have named “Bruce,” has left for good. The Newcastle City Council reopened six beaches on Monday after police and lifeguard patrols reported no signs of the shark for days, but that does not stop some beachgoers from being wary of the water.
“I wouldn’t go in,” Isaac Morgan, a lifeguard who saw the shark while on jetski patrol, told The Guardian during the beaches’ closure. “One, because I work as a lifeguard and I’ve got to set the example. And two, because of the things I saw out there.”
Still, the opening of the beaches were welcomed by residents and local businesses, as well as many anglers who did not want to share their catch with a hungry 16-foot shark.