Crew members and guests aboard a charter boat off the coast of Maine were recently paid an unexpected visit from above.
Dave Sinclair, owner of Sea Ventures Charters, was captaining a vessel 20 miles off the coast with six clients onboard on Saturday, Aug. 27, when an unusual incident occurred. A “wild” seven-foot mako shark flew into the 38-foot boat.
“We were routinely fishing like we often do,” Sinclair told McClatchy News. “We chummed the waters with ground-up fish bait and got the sharks coming toward the boat.”
Sinclair said he and his crew participate in a tag-and-release program administered by the National Marine Fisheries Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for research purposes. The main species they fish for include: blue sharks, mako sharks, porbeagles, threshers and great white.
They caught, tagged and released several blue sharks before they “sensed that there was a different species on the line,” said Sinclair, who has been fishing for and tagging sharks since the early ’80s.
“Makos are pretty wild and exciting,” Sinclair said, “so we tried to alert the clients to get their cameras ready in case something unusual happens and we can’t get the fish in the boat; at least [they] can get some pictures near the boat.”
Shortly after, one of the clients situated on an elevated deck above the main cabin, captured a video of a mako shark jumping from the sea and into the boat. The shortfin mako, which is categorized as endangered, “fell out of the sky, so we didn’t have control of it when it entered the boat,” Sinclair said.
Still, the crew was able to measure and tag the toothy creature, and afterwards they ushered it through the transom door on the boat’s stern, which is used to slide larger fish on and off the vessel, according to Sinclair.
“It was pretty wild and unusual, and we’re pretty happy that nobody got hurt,” Sinclair said. “The shark didn’t get hurt, and we continued on with the day.”