Late last month a 45-foot humpback whale carcass washed up on the shores of Dockweiler State Beach in Southern California. This immediately heralded doom and gloom for local surfers because every time a whale of this size shows up on beaches to decompose the great white sharks follow closely behind. The deceased adult humpback whale was known locally as Wally, and Wally has since been dragged out to sea several times so that the State Beach isn’t covered in decomposing whale carcass, but every time Wally’s taken out to see she floats back to shore (yes, Wally was a female humpback).
Well, Wally’s festering whale corpse brought in the sharks, and the sharks are getting ROWDY. Case in point is this incident from last weekend in which a man by the name of Keith Poe was filming shark encounters near Wally’s whale carcass when his boat was attacked by Great White Sharks:
In the shark’s defense, the bottom of his boat is basically the same color as a rotting whale corpse, and the sharks were in the area to look for a dead whale, so it could’ve been easy to mix them up.
According to GrindTV, Keith was taking a nap on his boat when a massive great white shark took a bite out of his hull, very close to his head:
The most violent attack occurred Thursday at 7 p.m., as Poe was trying to nap in the bow’s v-berth. The strike occurred very close to Poe’s head, and it jarred him awake.
“I thought a sailboat slammed into me because I didn’t hear a motor,” Poe said. “I was sure the fiberglass was broken through, then I saw the teeth marks and was blown away. It scared the hell out of me.”
The other attacks were more subtle. The sharks, somewhat frenzied, might have confused the hull of Poe’s boat with the whale carcass. But these could simply have been the violent actions of highly territorial apex predators.
Here’s what Keith Poe’s view looked like out there on his boat alone with the dead whale and sharks:
As for criticisms that the teeth puncture and don’t drag, here was Keith’s response:
Half inch to 1 inch thick fiberglass does not puncture very easily even with 4000 pounds of pressure then when the swell lift or lowers the hull of the boat you will get drag marks against the Sharks weight many thousands of pounds
Keith also spoke about how large the sharks were that attacked his vessel:
I’m not sure how big the shark was but one of the bites the upper teeth points were two and three quarter inches apart the largest one I saw was at least 18 feet.
All things considered it must have been pretty f’n amazing to be out there and see so many great white sharks chowing down on a whale caracas. That’s not something you’ll get to see too many times, so even though this caused some serious damage to the hull of his fishing vessel I bet it was pretty f’n awesome at the time.
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