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Big bull shark jumps aboard family’s little boat while they were fishing in the river

October 16, 2018 7:00PM News Corp Australia Network

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This is the shark that jumped into the boat. Picture: supplied media_cameraThis is the shark that jumped into the boat. Picture: supplied

animals

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A big shark jumped into a little boat with a family that was fishing in Queensland last week.

The family was keeping a safe distance away from a crocodile they could see on the bank of the Proserpine River on Friday afternoon.

There was a splash and then another and a man nearby thought the family had struck it lucky and caught a fish.

Instead, a 2.2m bull shark weighing about 150kg had jumped right in with them.

“It jumped right out, clean out of the water, into the boat where we are, straight in between my two brothers,” Connor Chapman told Channel 7.

2004. Boat in the Proserpine River. travel qld boats boating
media_camera2004. Boat in the Proserpine River. travel qld boats boating

Ken Madsen told the Sunshine Coast Daily newspaper he rushed to help.

“There was an almighty* commotion* and carry on*, and the next thing I hear is ‘help’, ‘help’ and saw the tail end of the shark disappearing into the boat,” Mr Madsen said.

“The kids ran up the front of the boat because there wasn’t much room. You could see the seat from the boat floating down the river. The shark had knocked it out when it jumped in.”

Mr Madsen let his own boat slip back into the river and motored over to the family’s boat.

He quickly loaded the two youngest children aboard. They were later reluctant to climb out again after seeing the 2m crocodile on the nearby riverbank.

A crocodile called Gump devours a bull shark at the mouth of Forest Creek in the Daintree. Picture: David White, Solar Whisper
media_cameraA crocodile called Gump devours a bull shark at the mouth of Forest Creek in the Daintree. Picture: David White, Solar Whisper

“The kids reckon they’re never going fishing again,” Mr Madsen said.

The family told Channel 7 they had seen the shark jump out of the water about 10m away. One commented they wouldn’t want to see it any closer, then it leapt into the boat.

Mr Madsen said there was no way he and the boys would have been be able to lift the shark back into the river without tipping the tinny* over.

Mr Madsen towed the tinny back to shore where he and two more men dragged the shark out of the boat and back into the river.

The large bull shark that was stranded in receding floodwaters near Rita Island after Cyclone Debbie was found by emergency service workers, and the photos have appeared on news and social media sites around the world. Photo: Lisa Smith.
media_cameraThe large bull shark that was stranded in receding floodwaters near Rita Island after Cyclone Debbie was found by emergency service workers, and the photos have appeared on news and social media sites around the world. Photo: Lisa Smith.

BULL SHARKS

  • Very common worldwide;
  • Often live in areas where lots of people live, such as shallow, tropical coastline;
  • Often travel long distances upstream into rivers and into estuaries*, into fresh and brackish (slightly salty) water;
  • Grow to 230kg;
  • Always observe and obey warning signs about when and where to swim;
  • Leave the water immediately if there is a shark sighting.

VIDEO:  Here are some surprising facts about sharks

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GLOSSARY

  • almighty: huge
  • commotion: noise and disturbance
  • carry on: commotion
  • tinny: small, open, metal boat
  • estuaries: where the ocean meets river

LISTEN TO THIS STORY

QUICK QUIZ

  • What is the name of the river?
  • How big and heavy do they think the shark was?
  • How big was the crocodile and where was it?
  • How far away was the shark when it jumped out the water first?
  • What two safety actions are mentioned?

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES
1. Shark Sighting
Work in groups of 4 to re-enact the moments leading up to and when the shark jumped onto this family’s boat. Assign each person a character, use some basic props and the information from the article to re-enact the event in front of your class.

You have 15 minutes to practice your skit before performing.

2. Extension
Draw an outline of how big a 2.2m shark is. How do you tell a bull shark apart from other sharks?

Time: Allow 20 minutes
Curriculum links: Drama

VCOP ACTIVITY

After reading the article, with a partner, highlight as many connectives as you can find in pink. Discuss if these are being used as conjunctions, or to join ideas and create flow.

HAVE YOUR SAY: There are lots of things you can do to help you stay safe while swimming and boating. What safety advice do you know?
Share your safety advice using full sentences. No one-word answers.

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