Great White Shark Bites Fishing Boat in California

A great white shark has bitten a fishing boat in coastal water off California.  Shark tagger Keith Poe was attempting to tag sharks when he awoke to a loud smashing sound.

He was sleeping with his head near the bow of the boat when a 16- or 18- foot great white shark hit.

“She slammed the Shark Tagger like a Mack truck and shoved the boat several feet. Words cannot describe how loud the impact was around my head inside the v-berth,” Poe said in a Facebook Post.

Teeth marks left in Keith Poe's damaged boat. Photo Keith Poe Facebook
Teeth marks left in Keith Poe’s damaged boat. Photo Keith Poe Facebook

Poe’s boat was located off the Los Angeles County coast where a dead whale was being devoured by a multitude of adult great white sharks. The 45-foot whale had recently washed up on to Dockweiler State Beach and was towed off shore.  The current kept bringing the carcass back, and Poe made two more attempts before locating it 10 miles off shore.

“From what I could discern there were seven different white sharks, two smaller males approximately 10 to 12 feet, and the rest were large females.  The largest white shark female had bite marks under her lower jaw that looked like they were possibly from mating.  She also had hundreds of bite marks on her pectoral fins and around her head, just hundreds of bite marks,” Poe added.

The shark bite or attack, as Poe called it, was not a one time event.

Deana the White Shark Palos Verdes California Photo: Keith Poe Facebook
Deana the White Shark Palos Verdes California Photo: Keith Poe Facebook

“The boat was full-on attacked 7 different times over several days, usually at sunrise or sunset,” he said. “They were not taste test bites; they were full-on attacks.”

It may be possible the sharks mistook his boat for the bottom of the whale because of the time of the attacks.

The trail of whale blubber floated on the surface and ended near the whale and Poe’s boat. Also, with so much activity in the water, competition may have also played a part as the sharks tried to get their fill.

Poe was able to hook the shark twice, but could not set the hook, which means he was unable to tag the shark.

He explained he “did the best I could, been 4 days. I’m out it’s so stinky and rotten.” Once the sharks left, he headed home.

Poe recently starred in an episode for Shark Week. He and marine biologists Greg Stuntz, Matt Ajemain and their team used state-of-the-art technology to document a live-predation of a 1,000 pound mako shark.

The approximate location has been marked on the 2016 shark attack bites tracking map as no injury.

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